Alexia Madoyris, 16, Sydney, NSW
Exploring Bangkok’s side streets with my family, I saw a little Thai boy splashing happily with his mate in the dirty water in the gutter. Only 10 at the time, I was amazed.
‘They look so happy!’ I said to my mum, Mary, realising how lucky I was.
Three years later, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
‘How could this happen to me?’ I cried to my identical twin, Kristina.
‘You’re going to be fine, sis,’ she said, hugging me.
Battling the cancer with chemotherapy, I started to feel lucky again. I’d see other kids who were much sicker than me.
So when Make a Wish got in touch, I was shocked. It’s a brilliant charity that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.
‘But I don’t deserve it,’ I said to Mum. ‘Compared to other kids, I’m lucky.’
‘There must be something that you’d like?’ Mum replied.
Then, I remembered those sweet Thai kids. Maybe my wish could make a difference!
‘I want to build a well in a developing country!’ I said.
Make a Wish was fantastic! Teaming with Red Cross, my wish built three wells in a rural community in Timor Leste.
Before that, the women and girls had to walk up to six kilometres twice a day to get water. Now, my wishing wells provide for 50 families, who can now grow vegetables and farm fish.
And the little girls, who were skipping school to collect water, now have a chance at an education.
It’s the best wish I’ve ever made!
Three years on from my diagnosis, I’m feeling healthy. And next year, my family will travel to Timor Leste to meet my new faraway friends. Until then, I wish them well!
Originally published in that's life! Issue 3, 2017.