Behind every wish there is a Wish Child, a family, a story and a journey, that as Wish Granters at Rays of Sunshine, we are lucky to be able to share with them.
This was certainly the case when Abigail’s Wish arrived on my desk. As soon as I began reading I felt like I already knew her…
This feeling of familiarity only grew stronger after calling her Mum, Emma, for the first time. Conversation came so easily, like talking to an old friend, and I left the phone call full of admiration for Abigail and her wonderful family.
Abigail’s Greatest Wish was for a Sensory Garden where she could play with her family.
Abigail suffers from a condition called Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood, (AHC), this is a very rare condition which affects roughly one in 1 million people.
The condition includes symptoms such as movement problems like cerebral palsy, learning challenges (such as autism), behavioural issues like ADHD, epilepsy in at least 50% of cases and bouts of temporary paralysis that last for minutes to days/months at a time.
This makes visiting outdoor play areas difficult for Abigail as it can trigger her epilepsy. What an apt wish it was to give Abigail the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, with those closest to her, in a safe and calm environment.
I can think of no better way to describe Abigail’s Mum, Emma, than a ‘Super Mum’. She and her incredible husband Gavin made it their mission to give Abigail the outdoor space that she needed and craved so badly.
Abigail’s father Gavin did all he could to get the garden ready for our Sensory Equipment Wish. Through his extensive fundraising (completing many physical challenges, including a sponsored run, crossing over the Dartford Bridge) Gavin was able to provide the rubber emulsion base for the play area. Rays of Sunshine were only too happy to provide the finishing touches of a climbing frame and other accessories.
As you can see from the video above, Abigail absolutely loves her garden and I feel very privileged that I was invited to attend the grand opening.