Xavier

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If you need to know fun facts about planes, trains, boats and helicopters - just ask five-year-old Xavier!

He's super inquisitive and is always keen to find out how things work. His mum Nerida says he's happiest when he's active and loves going at 'full speed' - he's an 'all or nothing' type of kid!

Sadly, since he was a toddler Xavier's world has been consumed by hospital. In 2015 at just 23 months old, he was diagnosed with Stage 3 bladder cancer (Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma).

Nerida said the shock was unimaginable.

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At the moment of Xavier's diagnosis we felt like our world had been turned upside down. Hearing the words 'your child has cancer' is something you never get over.
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Nerida, Xavier's mum

In that instant, every aspect of family life changed forever.

"Suddenly we were on constant alert and second-guessing every little bruise, bump and temperature. It changes you - watching your baby fight for their life," she said.

It was hard on Xavier's older sister Indyra who missed playing with her little brother. The family spent so much time at the Queensland Children's Hospital for Xavier's treatment, his parents made the difficult decision to relocate from Townsville to Brisbane to make the commute easier.

Xavier in hospital

Xavier endured agonising rounds of chemotherapy and endless scans, tests and appointments.

Already he's endured 45 rounds of chemotherapy, surgery and targeted radiation.

Xavier in hospital

Thankfully, the Starlight Express Room helped provide a "refuge" when Xavier was well enough to visit, post treatment. It's a place for Xavier to hang and relax between lengthy wait times.

Xavier loves the 'purple people' (Captain Starlights) and still visits them on outpatient trips. In fact when told by his Mum that he has to leave them at the hospital to head home, he's in tears!

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Captain Starlights light up the day and bring the smiles after all the tears. They are the positive ending to a traumatic time.
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Nerida, Xavier's mum

Amid all of Xavier's pain and sadness, he received the exciting news that he'd been granted his Starlight Wish.

Xavier Wish itinerary

He immediately put his inquisitive mind to work and decided on a Starlight Wish that's all about things transport!

Nerida said they were looking forward to giving Xavier an experience where he can smile and enjoy all the things he loves.

First up, Xavier's transport adventure began with a flight simulator experience with our Official Wishgranting Partner Virgin Australia on a Boeing B777. Xavier smiled from ear to ear and said, "I’m flying!" as he expertly 'flew' the aircraft from Brisbane to LA.

Xavier flight simulation

Xavier then took to the skies in a real plane!

Xavier flight simulation

Arriving in Melbourne, Xavier climbed aboard Puffy Billy - a magnificent 100-year-old steam train. The trip took the family through the Dandenong Ranges and gave them the chance to relax and unwind together.

Xavier on Puffy Billy

The next day it was all aboard for a Classic Riverboat cruise along the iconic Yarra River. Xavier was in charge of steering the boat and loved wearing his special Captain’s hat.

Xavier on boat

Last stop on Xavier's Starlight Wish was a scenic helicopter ride and a family trip to see all the amazing animals at Melbourne Zoo.

Xavier's Starlight Wish was an unforgettable adventure that took him a world away from hospital. The anticipation and planning gave Xavier something fun to focus on and he was over the moon to be 'transported' on his Starlight Wish!

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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