When you have Cystic Fibrosis (CF) there are all kinds of restrictions. To be able to have a holiday away with mum will give Damien, 17, the strength to continue his fight with this debilitating condition.
When Damien was born, he was initially misdiagnosed undergoing unnecessary surgeries and treatment for a condition that was later found to be Cystic Fibrosis. This started Damien on his life-long journey of health issues and treatments to continually combat
the side effects that having Cystic Fibrosis causes from chronic chest infections and malnutrition to needing a liver transplant.
Damien’s mum, Shay was devastated by the news about her newborn baby and was desperate to find a way to help her sick little boy.
When Damien was 7 years old, Shay moved to Brisbane as she wasn’t convinced he was getting the best treatment possible. Then the doctors started doing an investigation into Damien’s condition.
This routine can consist of one or two nebulisers every morning and every night with physio sessions in between, along with 40 tablets per day consisting of enzymes with every meal and also antibiotics. On top of this there is the constant need to incorporate
as much exercise into each day to keep the lungs active, making sure to eat enough nutrients and healthy fats to maintain a healthy body weight and avoid malnutrition. Shay explains “It’s a full time job just to keep on top of things, if you let your guard
down you can find yourself hospitalised for weeks at a time.”
The treatments and routines vary dramatically from person to person, but the importance is the same. For Damien it has evolved into CF related diabetes, aspergers and is now battling a liver disease and he will eventually need a liver transplant if he makes
it that far.
As Damien gets older his treatment will intensify. This is why it’s so important that Damien’s wish happens now.
Shay has been unable to work for the last 4 years so she can care full time for Damien. It’s a constant struggle to pay for medications, hospital stays and day to day care, so a break for this family is something they can only dream about. And that’s what
they have been doing...
Damien has always wanted to visit Tasmania. He has done his research and he wants to go to cradle mountain, to see Tassie devils and fairy penguins plus a special trip to a cheese factory to see how they make cheese just like the chefs on Gourmet Traveller.
Shay told us, “It’s something we could never do unless we suddenly won the lotto. It’s really exciting for Damien because it’s an adventure we can enjoy and experience together for the first time. It’s on his mind while he’s having treatment, that there’s
something special down the track – away from any blood tests or hospitals.
He will never get better without transplants and even with them the end result is inevitable. They reckon about 35-37 years old is their lifespan for boys, some get more with transplants some don’t. For Damien it’s been hard, he’s buried a lot of friends…
its life long and life limiting. So whatever he does this is it, you only get one shot… “
For Damien and Shay, this adventure would be an amazing escape far away from hospital and will allow them to build happy memories to give them strength for what’s ahead.
We urgently need your help now to be able to give Damien a trip of a life-time to Tasmania.
Make-A-Wish Australia has made over 8,000 unique wishes come true for seriously ill children across Australia since 1985.
As we receive no government funding, this has all been possible thanks to generous support from individuals like you.
In recognising our 30 years of granting cherished wishes in Australia, we want to bring the healing power of a wish to as many seriously-ill children as possible. With your help, we can ensure that we can continue to give hope, strength and joy to children
just like those featured here. Your support will make a powerful and important difference in a sick child’s life.
As these children battle their life-threatening illness, they build resilience through the hope, strength and joy their incredible wish inspires, which if not for you, cannot be made possible.
To help more seriously ill children be granted their most cherished wish come true, visit: