Thomas playing basketballThe NBA may have a future star in 12-year-old Thomas from Melbourne. The scouts and sports-loving, outgoing boy is especially passionate about basketball. His dream is to play professionally when he grows up.

Until earlier this year, you'd find him pounding the basketball courts twice a week with his team mates.

Sadly, his passion came to a sudden halt when he was diagnosed with Burkitt's Lymphoma.

Thom woke up one morning with a lump on his neck.

He was happy and well, but the lump grew over a couple of days.

Tests ultimately revealed the tragic diagnosis. In that moment, every aspect of life changed.

Mum Kirsty said her family felt scared and helpless. "The diagnosis turned our world on its head. Thom was admitted to hospital and stayed for the next three months."

Thomas sleeping

It was heartbreaking for the close knit family of five as they tried to adjust to their new life. Kirsty and dad Dean alternated nights in the hospital to be with Thom while the other looked after Thom's two older sisters, Nicola (14-years old) and Jessica (17-years old).

Thom endured gruelling rounds of treatment and missed his friends and his beloved sport.

Thomas in hospitalThankfully, Starlight was there helping him cope with the pain and sadness of hospital. When he was well enough, Thom would visit the Starlight Express Room to take a break and have some fun.

When Thom was too sick to leave his ward, Captain Starlight brought the fun to him. Kirsty said these visits lifted Thom's mood and always "lightened our days."

While Thom battled his illness, he received the exciting news that he had been granted a Starlight Wish.

It marked a turning point for the family after the anguish of the long months in hospital.

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During the second round of chemo, Thom was at a pretty low point and in a lot of pain. The anticipation and planning of his Starlight Wish gave him something positive to focus on and look forward to.
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Kirsty, Thomas' mum

Given his passion for basketball, unsurprisingly, Thom's Starlight Wish has a basketball theme!

His wish is to sit courtside at a Melbourne United NBL game and meet the team especially his favourite player, Chris Goulding!

Kirsty said Thom is so excited about the upcoming big day and wants to share the experience with all his friends and family who have supported him over the year. He's now back training and playing twice a week to prepare for his upcoming Wish and rekindle his love of basketball.

Thomas with family

She said it's hard to put into words what his Starlight Wish will mean.

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Basketball is Thom's life and so his wish will be one more step forward from the illness towards normality again. Thank you for helping Starlight do their amazing work.
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Kirsty, Thomas' mum

Stay tuned to see Thom's courtside dream realised with Melbourne United!

Stories like these are only made possible thanks to our generous supporters. If you'd like to help make a difference for a child, you can donate below.
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