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Gold Coast wishes come true for Jerrah

A boy meeting Batman and Robin at Movieworld

July 13, 2022

For mother-of-two Jess, a fun-filled family trip to the Gold Coast was more than a sigh of relief; it was the rare and unforgettable opportunity of a lifetime, all thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Her sixteen-year-old son Jerrah is a very special young man, being 1 in 200 children worldwide to battle a rare condition called Mecp2 Duplication Syndrome which makes him prone to pneumonia, severe epi-lepsy, and other physical and neurological disabilities. Growing up and attending a special school in Melbourne, Jerrah thoroughly enjoys being outdoors, as well as eating lots of food, and The Wiggles. After years of hospital emissions, Make-A-Wish stepped in to help Jerrah, Jess, sister Autumn and Step-dad Lee enjoy a week of doing his favourite things on a holiday with no appointments:

“It would’ve been six months of planning, meeting with the Make-A-Wish team and planning some-thing he might like to do as his big wish… normally going on a holiday with a child with a medical condition is really stressful with the planning, so they took care of all of that!” Jess explains how Jerrah’s team organised flights, quality accommodation and vehicles with the required facilities and space for his wheelchair and medical supplies. They even had a special celebration where members came over with cake and balloons to talk about the upcoming trip, and included countdown letters in the mail.

Jerrah received a special meet and greet with his favourite superheroes.

Jerrah and his sister, Autumn, meet with Superman and Supergirl at Movieworld.

For Jerrah’s main wish, they spent a day at Movie World, where he received a special meet and greet with Batman and all his favourite heroes:

“He’s been sort of given the nickname of The Hulk from nurses and the family because of his physical strength and because, like a superhero, he bounces back from all of these illnesses that he’s had. It can take up to six nurses to hold him down for a blood test,” laughs Jess, “so the idea of superheroes like Batman and Wonder Woman and things like that really appeal to Jerrah.”

Jess was overwhelmed with the proactivity of the team behind making the magic happen:

“It just made him feel like a superhero I guess… It was nice to cry happy tears for the first time in a long time as well, and to not feel as much like a medical mum for the week. I didn’t have to do all those things I’d do at home, caring for Jerrah, so it was really just about having fun as a family… ”

Jess also thoroughly enjoyed their Jet Boating experience at Southport:

“Part of the appeal of the Gold Coast for Victorians is that lovely weather, and the theme parks and all of those things about the Gold Coast that mean fun.”

Jerrah and his family having some fun at Kurrawa Beach.

Autumn and Jerrah play in the sand.

Since Jerrah hadn’t been to the beach since he was little, it was a special moment when the Lifesaving team at Kurrawa Surf Club went to extra lengths to make sure the family had everything he needed.

The family enjoyed the trip so much, they plan to return in December for another private holiday. Jess wishes to point out that the Make-A-Wish Foundation operates on community and donor support, and would like to thank these people for making something special happen.

The Make-A-Foundation is hosting their Annual Charity Gala Ball at The Star Casino on 23 July with the theme being ‘Casino Royale.’

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