There’s one-way mum Claudine Snow knows how her daughter Audrey is doing – she checks out her cheeks.
“Every month that goes by, Audrey gets brighter and brighter,” Claudine said. “She’s in a good spot, getting the glow back in her cheeks and looking healthy and happy.”
Gold Coaster Audrey is six now, but she was only two when diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer.
Soon after her diagnosis, Audrey endured life-changing surgery to remove her right eye. But that was only part of the process – to save her other eye she had to endure seven rounds of chemotherapy.
Audrey loves to draw rockets flying over mountains of snow, so her wish to see and touch real snow hardly came as a surprise.
In 2018, Make-A-Wish sent Audrey, her sister and mum and dad to Mount Hotham – along with Audrey’s own little handmade rocket.
Claudine said the trip was just what the whole family needed and helped set Audrey and her rocket on a new, more positive path.
“It was the best thing we’ve ever done together. It was absolutely magical,” she said. “There was so much laughter throughout the wish, and we’ve come away with that and feeling closer as a family. Healthwise she’s doing really good, despite ongoing eye operations and treatments.”
Claudine said the snow visit had even sparked Audrey’s interest in skiing.
“Because Audrey has limited sight and autism, for her to be able to ski was a huge accomplishment,” she said. “She’s so proud of herself and what she was able to achieve – she goes around telling everyone that she can ski, and we have this dream of ‘the Snow sisters’ winning gold at the Olympics.”
Claudine said skiing was a bit like life, falling over and getting up again.
“Knowing that you can fall over and get back up again – which Audrey did hundreds of times – has become a really good metaphor,” she said. “It’s a bit like how she lives her life – she gets knocked down and she gets back up again.”
Make-A-Wish Gold Coast will hold its Winter Wonderland Charity Gala Ball 2019 on Saturday, August 17. The QT Gold Coast ballroom will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland for the night, and the funds raised on the night will help Make-A-Wish grant wishes for kids like Audrey. Ticket includes three-course dinner and four-hour drink package.
Whether it’s making unicorns fly, sending kids to the moon to or even helping Australia’s youngest ever cricket captain don the baggy green, a night with Make-A-Wish Gold Coast will be as unforgettable as the wishes you help bring to life.