THE children’s charity Make-A-Wish UK will close its referral process on Wednesday 15th June, meaning members of the public have only a matter of hours remaining to refer a critically ill child for a wish. After this time, eligible children will need to be referred to the charity by a health or social care professional.
With 63,000 children in the UK eligible for a wish, the charity is urging people to submit their applications as soon as possible to help children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions have their wishes come true.
12-year-old Isla Hindmoor, from Durham, has recently had her wish for a ‘cake stand mixer’ granted after enduring years of aggressive leukaemia treatment. She said:
“Everything changed when I got poorly. I missed my sister and my friends. I just wanted to be normal again.”
Baking was a source of comfort for Isla during her treatment, giving her both a creative outlet and a way to connect with family and friends. Her mother, 44-year-old Joanne, said:
“Baking gave her something to focus on and take her mind off the pain. Her Nan, Gillian, taught her how to bake – she just lives around the corner, so Isla is always heading round there to bake together. Now she’ll be able to bake as much as she wants to in her own home. I think her Nan will be grateful for a break!”
Jason Suckley, Chief Executive of Make-A-Wish UK, said:
“When a child is diagnosed with a critical condition, the joy of childhood is brought to an abrupt end with treatment plans, hospital appointments and worry taking over. The power of a wish brings light and joy to children and their loved ones, and we’re pleased to now invite members of the public to play a vital role in that process. For more information, and to help light up the darkness for a critically ill child in your life, please visit www.make-a-wish.org.uk/wishes/
Isla, who is in Year 7 at school, hopes to study Food Technology and even open her own cake shop when she gets older. She said:
“I was so excited to get my wish! I can’t wait to keep using it. From a young age I’ve loved baking – I find it very therapeutic. When I was poorly and going through a stressful time it was all I wanted to do. I really missed everything being normal.”
Isla continues to be regularly scanned but fortunately has now been ‘cancer-free’ for over two years.
“Sometimes I look back and think, wow, I can’t believe that happened. But now I’m in school and I’ve got new friends and I can bake cakes whenever I like. Everything is back to normal, and that’s all I want.”
To refer a child like Isla for a wish, please visit www.make-a-wish.org.uk/wishes/