October 16, 2014

Andrea's Amazing Wish

I was honoured to a special night with my stunning friend, Sharon Melhem, who had invited me to attend a special Make-A-Wish Australia event fittingly held at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). The event, Andrea's Amazing Wish, was in honour of Andrea Alzened, a beautiful 9 years old girl who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Make-A-Wish grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions to provide hope, inspiration and strength. The power of the wish encourages children to continue fighting and provides them with hope to achieve a dream. Andrea's dream was to be a professional artist where she could have people come and see her work.

Andrea loves art and when she is "doing her artwork it gets her excited and happy and she forgets that she is feeling sick". When Andrea was diagnosed with this horrible disease her mother, Tamar, had enrolled her into art lessons to help her through her treatments. It definitely worked - during her treatments, Andrea would paint, draw and sculpt and loose herself into a pain-free world where she is able to be creative and forget about the reality of what she is going through.

Through the amazing efforts and work of Make-A-Wish, the MCA was truly onboard with this wish and had offered to showcase Andrea's art pieces. Andrea is the youngest person to have her artworks displayed at the MCA, an achievement she and her family would be so proud of and be the envy of many artists, and her artwork is absolutely amazing for someone so young; a natural talent.

Not only did the MCA help Andrea achieve her wish, but Google also heard about Andrea and had commissioned her to create a "Google Doodle" which they will have displayed in their office here in Sydney, Australia. To take it another step further, Sass and Bide has enlarged one of Andrea's painting and is displaying it in their Brisbane office and provided a beautiful treat to Andrea and her sister by custom making dresses for them to wear on the opening night of Andrea's art exhibition. 

On this night, Andrea became an official artist; she kindly offered two of her art pieces to be auctioned off and with the money raised, she donated it to Make-A-Wish so that they can continue providing wishes for other children. This is a beautiful and selfless act I've seen and experience; not only has Andrea gone, and still is, going through so much with her treatments, but she is still willing to give to help others. For a 9 years old girl, she has a very big heart. 

Currently the stats show that approximately 2,000 children around Australia are diagnosed with a life-threatning medical condition and Make-A-Wish have granted 500 wishes, so there is so much more to grant and more funds are needed to help grant these wishes. I encourage you to donate today and help make wishes like Andrea come true.

To help raise awareness and much needed funds to make these wishes come true, Sharon Melhem founded Shine & Dine, an annual fundraiser in support of Make-A-Wish Foundation. Her amazing work and dedication has helped Make-A-Wish provide more wishes to these children and their families, giving them hope, strength and joy. It provides them with a goal to aim for and for a moment, helps them forget about the reality they are currently going through.

The annual Shine & Dine is set for next year and is schedule for 5 June 2015. Mark this special occasion into your calendar and come support an amazing event and have a fabulous night. I'll be there and I hope to see you there!

To Make-A-Wish Foundation - personally, I'd like to say, what an amazing job you do and the power of a wish you provide goes beyond what a child dreams of. Keep up with the great work!

To Sharon - you have a massive heart that goes around the universe. The annual Shine & Dine event you organise, the support you provide and the energy you create is truly amazing. You are a beautiful person both inside and outside and I am so lucky to call you my friend.

Jo x

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