Wishing in the Land Down Under

By Michaela Boswell, Wish Child

IPIc1n May 2014, I had my kidney removed because the doctors had found a cyst. Originally I was told they were only taking out the part of my kidney with the cyst on it because there was a 99% chance that it was benign.  When I woke up from my surgery I was informed that the surgeon had to remove my whole kidney because it was indeed cancerous.  A few weeks later I saw Dr. Dvorack at Upstate.  She suggested that Interleukin was the best option for treatment.  I started treatment in July.

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During that time I was informed that I was eligible for Make-A- Wish®.  All I could think about was Australia.  I thought it was a long shot but I was hoping for the best.  I waited anxiously to hear whether or not I would be going to Brisbane, Australia.  One day a man showed up at our door and my dad just let him in the house, which I thought was pretty strange (and dangerous).  He was wearing a safari hat and clothes (which I also thought was pretty strange).  Soon I found out that he was there to tell me that my wish had been granted and I would be going on my dream trip. I was so happy I screamed and even cried a little bit. That night we had a delicious dinner at Outback Steakhouse and talked about all of the options for my trip.  Then we waited to hear more.

A month or so later we received our trip itinerary.  I didn’t expect to be half as ecstatic as I was when I found out what we would be doing. Make-A-Wish® had planned a surfing lesson, hot air balloon ride, and a trip to the Australia Zoo for us.  I was so excited it was hard to sleep in anticipation of our trip.

pic 3The day we left I waited by the window for the limo to show up. The limo experience was extremely exciting on its own.  We finally began our 25-hour journey to the Land Down Under.  We arrived at 7 in the morning Brisbane time.  We spent the day trying to adjust.  The next day we had a full day with an Australian family that we had met back in America.  We had a chicken barbeque and then we took a City Cat (like a ferry) into the city.

pic 4The following day we had our surfing lesson.  It was such a cool experience and extremely terrifying all at the same time.  It was fun watching my parents try to surf.

On that Monday we had the opportunity to go to the Australia Zoo.  I would say that there is no zoo in America that could even come close to comparing with the Australia Zoo.  My favorite parts were spending hours feeding and petting kangaroos and having the chance to hold a koala.  I have never had so much fun in one day.

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On that Wednesday we got up bright and early to experience our first hot air balloon ride.  My dad was scared out of his mind even though he won’t admit it. I’m not one to talk though because I refused to look down.  Before we knew it we were up in the air over 5,000 feet.  It was a sight that cannot compare. We were looking down at cows that looked like little grains of sand. I just can’t find the right words to explain how cool it was to be up in a hot air balloon.

hot air balloon

After we landed we were driven to a nice restaurant to have a hot breakfast.  It was the perfect way to spend our last day in such a beautiful country.  I did not want to leave.  I actually loved it so much that I am currently back in Brisbane studying community services at TAFE.   My plan is to then transfer on to ACU and work towards a bachelor’s degree in social work.  If it weren’t for Make-A-Wish® giving me the opportunity of a lifetime, to fall in love with such a beautiful country, I may not be where I am today.  Make-A-Wish® is truly an amazing organization.

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