Morgan's Starlight Wish got her one step closer to her dream!
Ten-year-old Morgan loves the beach and dreams of touring the world as a pro surfer.
American surfing legend Bethany Hamilton is her idol. Bethany tragically lost her left arm in a shark attack. One month after her attack she bravely jumped back on her board. “I’ve lost count of how many times our family has watched Bethany’s movie Soul Surfer, but every time we do, Morgan’s eyes light up,” says mum Vanita. “Morgan admires Bethany’s courage never to give up.”
Ten years ago when baby Morgan came into the world, Vanita noticed she wasn’t able to kick her left leg the same way she could move her right one.
Never in our wildest dreams did we think our Starlight Wish would be possible, but our friends at Starlight made the impossible happen!Morgan's mum, Vanita
At just four months old, baby Morgan underwent an MRI scan. The scan identified a bleed in Morgan’s brain. The neurologist diagnosed Morgan with cerebral palsy. “I’ll always remember that dark mass on the MRI scan,” says Vanita. “The room was spinning, we had so many questions and we knew the health professionals didn’t have the answers.”
Morgan has had medical appointments every week since she was born. When Morgan was two-years-old she began Botox treatment, she was fitted with a hand splint to straighten her fingers and an ankle brace to help her walk. She’s endured countless physiotherapy appointments, occupational and speech therapy, and still undergoes six-monthly hospital visits to reassess her condition.
Even with her incredibly positive attitude, Morgan struggled daily with things we take for granted. She found tying shoelaces, getting dressed and brushing her hair incredibly tiring. She often became stressed and experienced emotional breakdowns.
That is until last year when Morgan’s Starlight Wish came true. “Never in our wildest dreams did we think a wish like this would be possible,” says Vanita. “But our friends at Starlight made the impossible happen!”
For the first time ever, Morgan braved the surf on Sydney’s Manly Beach with her hero Bethany Hamilton. “It was surreal being taught to surf by one of the world’s best and someone Morgan identified so closely with,” says Vanita. “Morgan was able to ask Bethany for tips like how to do her hair with one hand. Bethany told Morgan to never be afraid to ask for help.”
Bethany uploaded a photo of herself and Morgan to Instagram and received over 30,000 likes. This overwhelming support from Bethany’s followers was incredibly empowering for Morgan.
“For days my beautiful girl couldn’t wipe the smile off her face,” says Vanita. “Morgan’s pain and frustrations appeared to have been washed away with the tide. She’s much more confident after experiencing the wish of a lifetime!”
Morgan's Starlight Wish helped her dream big and embrace her future. We know each chapter of her life will present new challenges. But organisations like Starlight make Morgan's journey a lot easier.Vanita
Morgan still talks about her Starlight Wish. Her signed copy of Bethany’s book is her prized possession and she remains the envy of her friends who wish they could’ve met a world-famous surfer. For a girl who’s missed out on so much Morgan feels very special. “In spite of adversity, she continues to maintain her determined attitude,” says Vanita. “I’m so proud of her.”
Today Morgan is a confident little girl who wears a leg brace and arm splint and is happy to educate others about her condition.
“Morgan’s Starlight Wish helped her dream big and embrace her future,” says Vanita. “Morgan will have cerebral palsy for the rest of her life. We know each chapter of her life will present new challenges. But organisations like Starlight help make Morgan’s journey a lot easier.”
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