TEXT WISH TO 70111 TO DONATE £3 A MONTH
“I wish to have a Playstation 5”
18 years old, Bolton
For 18-year-old Ben, a testicular cancer diagnosis has meant that he has had to undergo many surgeries, with one coming up at the end of July. ‘His recovery will take 4 to 6 weeks,’ said mum, Lisa. But after having his wish granted to have a PlayStation Five, Ben now has a needed distraction and a means to interact with his mates: ‘Playing on my PlayStation will allow me to connect with my mates when I'm recovering’.
At just 17, the chances of a testicular cancer diagnosis are extremely rare. That’s why when Ben's mum, a healthcare professional, noticed that Ben might have a fast-growing tumour, her ‘stomach turned over’. Acting quickly, Mum called the doctors, ‘It was the day after boxing day, so it was hard to get an appointment.’ after booking a private scan, Ben received his diagnosis, confirming Mum’s fears. Treatment came quickly, with Ben undergoing surgery the following January.
‘I work at hospice,’ said Mum ‘so a cancer diagnosis was a big shock to me’. Contrasting Mum’s reaction was Ben’s, who as Mum told us ‘treated it like he had a cold, he was stronger than me and his dad.’ For Ben, his initial Surgery was a fear-filled ordeal. But since then surgeries and treatment have become part of his routine.
‘It’s an ongoing thing for us at the minute,’ said Mum. At the end of July, Ben will have an operation to remove one of his kidneys. Following this, he’ll have appointments for the next ten years of his life to check his kidney function, alongside his oncology appointments. A keen footballer, Ben won’t be able to play any contact sports after his surgery. ‘He was upset but realised why he’ll have to stop.’.
Ben missed out on a large part of his final year of school, impacting his A-levels. ‘It put me behind everyone else in terms of academic progress’. Still, tenacious Ben has quickly caught up and is now finishing his A-levels. Ben strives to be a radiographer and has even been offered a job as a healthcare assistant by the radiology clinic where he went to get his initial scan.
Gaming has always been there for Ben. It served as a needed distraction throughout his cancer experience and a source of entertainment long before his diagnosis. ‘With my next surgery coming up I’ll have a lot of free time with recovery. Gaming is a distraction for me when I'm in pain and recovering,’ said Ben.
In February 2021, whilst recovering from his first surgery, gaming was there to offer Ben a means to connect and have fun with his mates. ‘I had nothing to do,’ said Ben, ‘so I played with my friends online.’ As Mum told us ‘Gone are the days that you game on your own - he's able to link up with all of his mates online!’
After playing on his mate's PlayStation, Ben knew that he wanted one for his wish. ‘He kept saying how amazing it was and how he’d liked one,’ said Mum. And when he heard that he’d be getting one, Ben said that he ‘couldn’t wait!’
For Ben, having a PlayStation means that he can play his favourite game, FIFA, with his mates online- ‘All my mates have it!’ As he immerses himself into a world of football, the game will help take his mind off any pain that he may feel, and any boredom that may arise during his six-week recovery from his kidney operation.
During his recovery period, Ben won’t be able to leave his room much. But playing his favourite games will give him a way to interact with his mates. As Ben told us, ‘It's great because we’ll be able to connect even when we’re not in the same room.’
How Ben's wish helped
For children like Ben, gaming is a lifeline - it provides a means to escape their often stressful routines of doctors appointments and surgeries: ‘Wishes like mine are so important. when a child has something traumatic and stressful in their lives, they need something like this to look forward to.’
‘I can’t thank Make-A-Wish enough for what they’ve done. It’s such a great charity to support. They really do help children who are going through unimaginable times.’. As Mum told us 'Make-A-Wish has the amazing ability to put a smile on the faces of these children. They’re so worth supporting.'
We rely on generous donations from people like you to grant wishes. Your donation will make wishes become a reality for critically ill children, supporting them where the need is greatest. Thank you.