Abu Dhabi: The Make a Wish Foundation has announced that it helped fulfill 300 wishes for children with serious illnesses in the UAE during the first half of 2020.
Sheikha Sheikha bint Saif Al Nahyan, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Make a Wish Foundation, lauded the effort as it came about despite the pandemic and related restrictions that were in place.
The foundation managed to achieve 16 wishes for children with serious illnesses within the category of “I would like to go”, provided that many more will be granted once the travel bans around the world are lifted. Over 130 other wishes were also achieved through the latest “remote work” techniques.
Sheikha Sheikha said, “We are proud of our ability to fulfill these aspirations on the land of the emirates, the land of tolerance, the land of humanity, benevolence, peace and love. We reached out to 152 boys and 148 girls of 19 different nationalities. They suffer from 45 serious chronic diseases.”
So what were the wishes?
A seven-year-old child suffering from Type 1 Diabetes wished to stay at a beach hotel. The Make a Wish Foundation was able to collaborate with the Rotana Group so the girl and her family could enjoy a weekend at the Fujairah Rotana Resort and Spa. Among the activities that the girl enjoyed the most was swimming and spending time on the beach.
The mother sent a thank you note to the foundation, saying her daughter had a lot of fun.
Another 10-year-old girl, also suffering from Type 1 Diabetes, wanted a play unit in her garden. The foundation met with the mother at a store where a big garden play unit was selected and granted to the little girl.
The family said the girl wanted to have unit so she could play with her cousins over the weekends.
In a third Type 1 Diabetes case, a 13 year old’s unique wish was met with the help of Abu Dhabi Police Aviation. The boy was greeted by Colonel Pilot Ibrahim Al Baloushi of the unit and taken to the control tower where he was shown how helicopters are monitored. He was also given a tour of the helicopter landing area, shown the inside of the helicopter and then guiven the surprise of his life: a ride on the helicopter around Abu Dhbai. Finally, Colonel Ibrahim Al Baloushi also presented him with an iPad.
The boy said, “This is the best day of my life, and I will never forget it.”
In other wishes that were granted, a toy bike was presented to a five-year-old thalassemia patient who had actually zeroed in on the white bike at a Sharjah store. The parents thanked The Make a Wish Foundation for making their young boy very happy.
Similarly, a 12-year-old girl who was diagnosed with Ataxia, wished to go and perform Umrah. The Foundation granted the wish and sent her family earlier this year to Mecca. After they spent a couple of days in Mecca, the family also visited Al Madina. The family told the foundation, “She was so excited and happy, the smile did not leave her face when she saw the Kaaba. She will never forget this moment in her life.”
Sheikha Sheikha said, “Putting a smile on the faces of sick children is invaluable. We pray that our commitment contributes to a speedy return to normalcy in our beloved country, enabling us to continue sowing the seeds of happiness and hope in the hearts of all.”