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



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

Community called on to celebrate life of Paul Barrett

Paul Barrett was an important part of the Tweed-Byron community.

CALLS go out to celebrate the life of Paul Barrett.

Asbestos fears at Kingscliff holiday park

Visitors to Kingscliff Beach Holiday Park raised asbestos fears after finds in sand.

FEARS have been raised of asbestos in areas where children play.

New marine hub to aid fight against crime

ON THE WATER: Roads and Maritime Services Maritime Director Angus Mitchell and Member for Tweed Geoff Provest.

New $3million marine hub will include a water police border-base.

Local Partners

Community called on to celebrate life of Paul Barrett

CALLS are going out for the community to join and celebrate the life of colourful musician and much-loved Tweed identity Paul Barrett.


Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Become a 'picker' at Byron with vintage fair

Who knows what you could find at this weekend's vintage fair?

THOUSANDS of collectors and sellers will converge on Byron Bay

Matthew McConaughey wrongly used as medical example

Doctor tried to steal credit for McConaughey's hair treatment

J.K. Rowling writes through severe back pain

An aching back couldn't stop J.K. Rowling catching inspiration

Suzi Quatro returns with live supergroup launch

DEVIL GATE: Suzi Quatro will reignite her love affair with Australia in February for the Leather Forever Encore tour.

"It's always been a special place for me”

Elsa voice actor's son hates Frozen

Idina Menzel's son "hates" his mother's most famous film 'Frozen'

Chrissy Teigen likes her "soft" stretch marks

Stretch marks are no problem for Chrissy Teigen

Naomie Harris in the dark over Daniel Craig's future as 007

Naomie Harris has no idea if Daniel Craig will be returning as 007

Beautiful Terranora acreage

77 Mahers Lane, Terranora.

Check out this week's feature property.

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

'Difficult times': Rental prices tipped to increase in 2017

GREAT BUYS: There are some great rentals and houses to buy in South Gladstone. Head to gladstoneobserver.com.au for the top 10 homes under $100 to rent right now in the Gladstone region.

Investors may soon see a "profitable return” on properties.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!