Why Make-A-Wish?

Brian is delighted to donate a percentage of profits from the sales of Fitness 4 Weight Loss to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He and his family have benefited from the generosity and support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Their son, Harry was granted a “wish” and the impact it had on his ability to cope with his cancer treatment, and his subsequent recovery, was profound and one which Brian and his wife Sharon can never thank Make-A-Wish enough for.

Meet Harry
7 October 2014 our lives changed forever when our youngest son Harry was diagnosed with cancer. Harry was diagnosed with the most common form of cancer found in children;  Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).

Sharon knew
We knew Harry was sick but being a 3-year-old we initially put his consistent illnesses down as “typical” for a kid his age. Our first trip to the doctor confirmed our thoughts and we were told that in a few days he should show signs of recovery. Harry didn’t recover, and when he began unsettling full body night sweats our concerns grew stronger.

My wife Sharon had Harry back to the doctor, her motherly intuition telling her something was seriously wrong with her child. Harry was weak, lethargic, pale, and a long way from the bright, energetic, fun boy we adored. Alarm bells were ringing and Sharon with Harry was sent to our local children’s hospital for a blood test; they didn’t leave.

Harry Killian
Diagnosis
On approach, it was immediately obvious the good doctor in the Emergency Department had bad news. Communication is mostly non-verbal and there was no mistaking from his body language that what he was about to relay wasn’t good. Struggling with his words, his body shifting left to right, his eyes sad. Finally, after what seemed an eternity we received the words any parent would dread: “I’m sorry but your son has cancer”.

The words hit me so hard it was almost unbearable. A deep, inner pain I had never experienced consumed me. My heart broke, my stomach ached and the world around me suddenly slowed. I knew my dear wife Sharon felt this pain too. Standing close with her mum, the words stabbed at her as she buckled over in pain, clutching at her abdomen as though she had received a powerful punch. Deep sorrow engulfed as she began to cry. Her hurt for her baby filled the room, and we all felt it, including Harry. Harry previously silent, suddenly on Sharon’s response was jolted into life. Sensing his mother’s pain he cried for her, Sharon held him tightly, her strength and love immediate to soothe her son’s fear.

Blur
After diagnosis, the remainder of the evening is a foggy memory with patches of distinct images never to be forgotten. Holding Harry as he was subjected to necessary, but incredibly invasive medical procedures is an experience I wish no parent would ever have to endure.

Triggered by fear, Harry’s innate primal response for self-protection saw him fighting with the well-meaning medical staff as they struggled with his power. While wanting Harry to co-operate, I couldn’t help but admire his strength of fighting spirit. This part of him we never knew previously, and amongst ourselves, Sharon and I felt buoyed by Harry’s show of determination. While physically weak and frail Harry showed us in those early hours he was a person of mighty character.

Treatment began the next morning. Harry’s cancer had the potential to spread rapidly and time was important. Amongst the continual flow of doctors and medical specialists coming in to visit Harry and ourselves, the severity of the situation began to sink in …

Our little boy has cancer.

Harry’s Wish
Harry’s wish was … “go on a plane to an island and have a holiday with his family”.

From there our designated Make-A-Wish team made it happen for him.
Nothing was too much trouble, no detail was left unattended. The level of care and love showed through generous action was humbling for us all and provided Harry so much joy it was a wonderful and special experience.

Harry was midway through his chemotherapy treatment and with the help of his medical team we were able to co-ordinate a 7 day family holiday to Daydream Island. It was fantastic for us all.

The break from his hospital room, the relentless regime of his necessary treatment, and to see Harry once again have a smile on his face was priceless.

We will be forever grateful to the Make-A-Wish foundation and the team which made Harry’s wish come true. We have no doubt the experience had a significant positive effect on Harry and contributed to him being able to cope and recover from his cancer.

Harry …now

At the time of writing, Harry is close to celebrating his 10th birthday. Although not ‘out of the woods’ just yet in regard to his Leukemia he most certainly is doing everything right to indicate he has beaten the disease.

Harry loves sport, plays basketball, football and cricket. He is a strong, healthy, and inspiringly positive little man.