Dubai: Sometimes a wish is only a distant dream. But for some children it became a reality, all thanks to one non-profit organisation.
Just last year the UAE’s Make-A-Wish Foundation brought smiles to the faces of 525 children suffering from life-threatening medical conditions by granting their seemingly implausible wishes.
“We have an advisory body within the charity to discuss case-studies of terminally ill children through hospitals, doctors, nurses or the child’s family. Only children with severe life-threatening conditions make the cut,” said Hani Al Zubaidi, CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“The hospitals share the medical report of the child and we take it forward from there,” he said.
XPRESS rounds up 10 such fancy wishes granted to children in 2017.
Mohammad, 17, Emirati
Like most football enthusiasts, Emirati teenager Mohammad is a big fan of Cristiano Ronaldo and always wanted to meet the legendary player. Last December, his dream came true when Make-A-Wish Foundation arranged a meeting between him and Ronaldo who was in the capital to take part in the FIFA Club World Cup at Zayed Sports City.
Mohammad not only got to shake hands with Ronaldo and other members of Real Madrid, he also got an autographed football from the Portugese superstar.
Al Anood, 5, Emirati
As a five-year-old, all Al Anood wanted was to spend a day with the UAE armed forces. The foundation granted her wish by taking her to a military base in Fujairah where she was given a special uniform and got to meet with top army officials.
She also had a chance to see what a typical day in the military is like.
Ameera, 10, Emirati
SpongeBob has been among Ameera’s closest confidants. Sure enough, her one true wish was to meet the cartoon character. The Foundation made this possible when they flew her along with her family to Los Angeles to meet Tom Kenny, the voice behind Sponge Bob. Ameera was also given a tour of Universal Studios where she got to met the team of Sponge Bob.
Khaled, 16, Emirati
For as long as he could remember, Khaled wanted to visit Japan and learn more about its rich history. He got the chance to explore the Land of the Rising Sun when the Foundation flew him and his family on an all-expense paid trip to Japan in July.
Joory, 5, Emirati
Olaf, the friendly snowman from Disney’s riotously successful film Frozen has fascinated children the world over and Joory is no exception. Last November, the five--year-old had the chance to meet Olaf at the Fairmont, Fujairah when the voice behind the famous character visited the UAE.
Ranad, 11, Syrian
Since 1981, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has turned over 100,000 Disney-related moments into reality. The most recent one was when they flew terminally-ill Ranad and her family to Disneyland in Tokyo, Japan where the 11-year-old met Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from the popular fairy tale.
Sultan, 8, Emirati
Sultan wanted an iPhone. The foundation granted his wish by giving him the latest edition of the phone at an event hosted by the Ministry of Happiness in Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi. The event was attended by the Minister herself.
Mariam, 5, Algerian
When Mariam was given the opportunity to make her one wish come true, she had a very simple request: All she wanted was to go on a shopping spree. The foundation granted her wish by taking her to Al Mushrif Mall. She came back with a trolley full of gifts and toys.
Yacin, 6, Egyptian
Yacin yearned for an e-bike and often wondered what it was like to own one. His dream came true when the Foundation collaborated with Emirates Tours who gave the child an e-bike at an annual event for bikers.
Abdulla, 7, Egyptian
Similarly, Abdulla wanted a razor bike. His wish was also granted following a collaboration between the Foundation and Emirates Tours.