What better way to spend an amazing Australian adventure than with some of the most exotic creatures from Down Under? Fourteen-year-old Sharai LOVES nature and wildlife, so she wished to travel all the way to Australia to experience an once-in-a-lifetime interaction with her favorite animals.
Battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer that attacks the immune system, Sharai has been forced to miss out on outdoor activities that she and her family have always enjoyed. She spent days in the hospital receiving treatment and doing all she could to fight off this terrible thing called cancer – but with superhero strength and determination, Sharai slowly regained her energy and health.
Knowing that her dream would soon come true gave her the hope to fight on.
The time had come for Sharai, her mom, dad and sister to spend an entire week adventuring in beautiful Australia! Cairns Tropical Zoo was the first stop for the family. The Zoo boasted some of Australia’s most exotic wild animals – from huge snakes and crocodiles to furry wombats, kangaroos and lemurs, this zoo had it all! Sharai loved learning about all the wildlife, but there was one particular exhibit she couldn’t wait to see – the Koala encounter! She fed, cuddled and took photos with the cute, cuddly creature – she almost didn’t want to let go!
The next day, Sharai and her family stepped onto a ferry to the Save our Sea Turtles Rehabilitation Centre on Fitzroy Island. Sea turtles are Sharai’s favorite animals, so seeing how sick turtles are rescued and rehabilitated back to good health really captured Sharai’s interest. Her time at the Rehab Centre provided her with a valuable learning experience and gave her further insight into the lives of the turtles she has often seen in the ocean in Hawaii. But the experience wasn’t just educational, it was also fun and interactive! Sharai was thrilled to pet and hold one of the rescued turtles at the Centre!
With only a few days left to explore, Sharai and her family didn’t let a moment go to waste! From snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef to Zip lining through Cape Tribulation, they visited some of the most stunning spots in Australia. The trip was filled with everything Sharai had wished for – nature, exotic animals, beauty and the chance to have fun and explore the destination of her dreams.
“We would never have been able to send Sharai to Australia and make her dream come true on our own. She learned a lot and had so much fun there and so did we” said Sharai’s dad, Edmund.
Special Thanks: Make-A-Wish Australia, Cairns Tropical Zoo, Avis, Save our Sea Turtles & Fitzroy Island, Quicksilver Great Barrier Reef Tour & Snorkel, Jungle Surfing Zipline, wish granters: Samantha Kailihou & Ramona Naipo.