Lifestyle

James' story proves wishes can come true

James Norquay, 12, has been granted a wish by Make-A-Wish foundation and is heading to Disneyland. He is pictured with his mum, Melissa Norquay and little brother Maxwell Norquay, 2.
James Norquay, 12, has been granted a wish by Make-A-Wish foundation and is heading to Disneyland. He is pictured with his mum, Melissa Norquay and little brother Maxwell Norquay, 2. Cade Mooney

THROUGHOUT James Norquay's chemotherapy treatment, he had one thing on his mind.

It wasn't cancerous brain tumours, or the medical treatment that made him feel sick.

James had a big task - working out what his ultimate wish was.

James's mum, Melissa, said in March last year, just before his first round of chemo, a social worker told them about Make-A-Wish and urged them to apply.

"It gave him something to think about other than his treatment. It wasn't until the end of the radiation that he decided what he wanted and we put in his wish. It had more meaning," she said.

Within a month James's wish to go to Disneyland was granted and the Coolum family heads off next month.

"He decided it would be a fun and magical place where he can be the kid," Melissa said.

"Kids grow up so quickly in hospital and are faced with so much, most people in their 30s and 40s haven't been through as much as they have.

"He's so positive and looking forward to his wish."

While James is in remission, he still goes to hospital in Brisbane once a week to tend to complications brought on by his cancer.

"Because of the size of the tumours, he lost a lot of sight and uses a cane and he has other medical problems that he'll have forever," Melissa said.

In the meantime, he has the excitement of his wish to get him through.

"It gives them a distraction instead of thinking about what's next, which is all those children know, it becomes so normal," Melissa said.

"It gives them a chance to think about something else in the future. It just gives them something positive to look forward to."

Make-A-Wish Australia grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions and has been responsible for giving more than 7000 children hope in the midst of a harrowing experience.

Charisse Mitchell is another wish recipient.

The 19-year-old from Morayfield met Hugh Jackman in 2010 and went on to become the Make-A-Wish Young Ambassador.

Charisse was diagnosed with cancer when she was 16 and desperately wanted to meet the Aussie star.

"My main wish was to meet Hugh Jackman. He took me to the opening of the Addams Family on Broadway," she said.

"Mum got a random phone call asking if I would go on the red carpet and be his date.

"We had paparazzi everywhere and had a police escort. I couldn't believe I was being interviewed by paparazzi.

"They kept saying, 'Hey Hugh, who's your pretty little friend?'

"It was fantastic, I kept pinching myself."

Charisse said while the wish had changed her life, she was initially reluctant.

"For a while I was thinking about it, I heard of Make-A-Wish and I was going to go through with it until I saw an ad on TV how it makes sick kids feel better," she said.

"I didn't want to think of myself as a sick kid."

Two years later and Charisse is "feeling pretty good", preparing for further chemo in next week.

The doctors have booked her into two more cycles before a rescanning.

Looking on the bright side, Charisse said she was allowed to have Christmas off.

Charisse said when people ask her what it's like to have cancer, her response is always the same.

"Cancer is like having a bad dream, except you don't wake up from it," she said.

"I see my life, as a nightmare."

Now Charisse's wish is to make it to her 20th birthday in March next year, in honour of two of her best friends who died a couple of months shy of their 20th birthdays.

"I'm not just turning 20 for me, it's for my friends and any other child who didn't make it," she said.

 

Make-A-Wish

Make-A-Wish Australia has granted more than 7000 wishes to children in Australia with life-threatening medical conditions.

To make a donation or for more information about Make-A-Wish, visit makeawish.org.au or call 1800 032 260.

 

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  cancer, disneyland, family, health, lifestyle, make-a-wish australia




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

Southern Downs activists in national water demonstration

Sarah Moles, Marianne Irvine and Jenn Greene-Galloway take part in the national highway action as part of the #water4life campaign on the corner of the New England Hwy and Goomburra Rd.
Photo Jayden Brown / Warwick Daily News

Highway demonstration for water protection

Man injured after quad bike rolls on Warwick property

Queensland Ambulance transported a boy to the Mackay Base Hospital.

23-year-old injures ankle in quadbike crash

Latest deals and offers

Is this state’s cheapest house?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

Rockhampton property in a lull, but a change is coming

Rockhampton's housing market in "pre-election mode"