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The Bear Grylls Adventure hosts Make-A-Wish families
- Thursday 28th July 2022
- Make A Wish
Families whose lives have been forever changed by critical illness were invited to enjoy an action-packed day of adrenaline and excitement at The Bear Grylls Adventure, at a Make-A-Wish UK event held at Birmingham’s NEC.
Families whose lives have been forever changed by critical illness were invited to enjoy an action-packed day of adrenaline and excitement at The Bear Grylls Adventure, at a Make-A-Wish UK event held at Birmingham’s NEC. The event was part of the charity’s brand new ‘Wish Alumni Programme’, which allows families who have experienced a Wish in the past to connect with others whose lives have been affected by life-limiting or life-threatening illness.
At 10am on July 28th, 8-year-old Nancy Dykes, from Newcastle in Staffordshire, made her way past scorpions, tarantulas and cockroaches as she bravely headed into The Bear Grylls Adventure; an indoor-outdoor activity centre at the National Exhibition Centre in Solihull. Nancy, who was accompanied by Mum Antonia and older sister Florence, was diagnosed with soft tissue cancer at just 2 years old.
‘My wish was to go to have a private tour at the Natural History Museum,’ said Nancy, whose wish was granted earlier this year. ‘It was amazing. It was really crazy, and amazing!’
The Dykes family was one of 12 families from across the UK invited to The Bear Grylls Adventure by Make-A-Wish UK for the launch of their ‘Wish Alumni Programme’; an initiative that will allow families who have experienced a Wish to connect with others whose lives have been affected by life-limiting or life-threatening illness. Antonia said: ‘It’s been really nice hearing about other families wishes, and it feels very special to be invited.’
‘Bear Grylls’ life motto is “courage, kindness and never give up”,’ said Jack Tomes, Wish Alumni Manager at Make-A-Wish UK. ‘Children like Nancy embody that spirit completely, and we can’t think of a better place than The Bear Grylls Adventure to launch our Wish Alumni Programme.’
Bear Grylls himself paid tribute to the families, with a tweet after the event saying: ‘We were so proud to have you all come along! So many heroes x’
Parents Anil and Cindy, whose son Sunil was granted his wish for a PlayStation 5 in December 2020, travelled from Sutton Coldfield to attend. Sadly, Sunil passed away aged 18 in September 2021, due to a progressive degenerative condition called spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 which affects co-ordination, balance and speech. His father, Anil, lives with the same condition, but was able to enjoy the day with Sunil’s younger brother Rav.
‘The one I’m really looking forward to is iFLY,’ said Anil. ‘Because even though I’m disabled, it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do – and here I can. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.’
Fern Wigfield, Senior Marketing Executive at The Bear Grylls Adventure, said: ‘We believe that adventure is for everyone, and we do our very best to accommodate adventurers of all ability levels. The site has step free access throughout, and we’re able to accommodate a range of ability levels on the majority of our epic experiences. We’re so pleased to have been able to share our extraordinary activities with these extraordinary families.’
‘Wishes have the power to light up the darkness for critically ill children and their families, leaving a lasting impact and creating memories to treasure forever,’ said Jack Tomes. ‘It’s been a pleasure to bring Wish Children and their families together at The Bear Grylls Adventure, and we’re very grateful to Merlin’s Magic Wand for their generous support.’
Make-A-Wish UK supporter, Hannah Cockroft, who was in Birmingham at the time preparing to compete in the Commonwealth Games, said:
‘Being in Birmingham ahead of the Commonwealth Games, it’s fantastic to see everything the city has to offer – including how wonderfully inclusive The Bear Grylls Adventure is for children living with critical conditions. It’s fantastic to hear that Make-A-Wish UK and The Bear Grylls Adventure were able to collaborate in creating a day of adventure and fun for the families that Make-A-Wish support. I just wish I could’ve been there!
I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of the amazing children who have had their wishes come true, and I’d encourage everyone to get behind the charity so they can make more wishes a reality.’
To learn more about Make-A-Wish UK, please visit www.make-a-wish.org.uk