Wish stories

Sam's wish...

“I wish to go to Overwatch video game tournament in London”

14 years old, Newcastle

Complex Severe Bronchiectasism


100% funded


Sam, 14, from Newcastle, is a young man with a vibrant imagination. He expresses himself through his passions of gaming and circus. However, he has a condition that prevents his lungs from clearing mucus properly, resulting in a high chance of infection and a spiral of poor health.

We want to make Sam feel like what he is: a teenager first and a patient second, but we need your support to do so. Sam is one of 2,000 children whose wishes are currently on hold due to coronavirus. Sam is currently waiting, hoping his wish will come true. Your donation today can help to ensure Sam doesn't have to wait a day longer than is necessary for his wish to come true.

Sam's story

September 2019

Puzzling the professionals

Since he was six, Sam had persistent coughs and ear infections. Doctors said asthma was the diagnosis. The misdiagnosis. Sam went downhill and he repeatedly changed his inhalers, to the point where he was on over 40 puffs a day.

Mum, Leanne, said: “The doctors were stumped. We were panicking.”

Wish child Sam, sleeping in his hospital bed during treatment for his condition.

Sam in hospital during treatment for his condition.

After hospital admissions and an unnerving time, Sam was eventually diagnosed with complex severe bronchiectasism, requiring intense periods of daily physiotherapy and uncomfortably doing ten breaths to cough up the fluid blocking his lungs every morning and night.

Sam had to adjust to life-changing impacts:

  • The change to the daily routine was the hardest. We didn’t know what we were doing. It took over our lives.
  • Travel is a challenge.
  • It’s been a big shift financially.
  • It’s hard balancing the home-schooling and social bubbles.

Taking it in his stride

Sam began going to circus school before his diagnosis and took up the daring trapeze. Inspiringly, Sam continued to fly and showed that having a serious illness and only two-thirds of a normal lung capacity wouldn’t stop him doing what he loves! He even got up to some sneaky tricks above everyone’s heads – including the hospital staff – who told Sam he could visit his friends, when in fact he went trapezing!

Sam has now taken his passion higher - quite literally – as he is studying a level 2 BTEC through circus school and is proactively furthering his education at home:

Wish child Sam in a white outfit, performing on the trapeze while blindfolded.
Sam and another child performing on the trapeze.

"I was finding it hard being in the school environment and it scared me that professionals didn’t know what my illness was. I was trying to balance everything and was missing lessons. Now, I am doing better academically. I am happier."

Can you help Sam to achieve even more?

Sam's wish

January 2020

A virtual reality

Imagine being able to interact with different communities, travel the world and meet new friends? Well Sam does this through his passion for gaming and his favourite game is ‘Overwatch.'

Sam tells us how gaming helps him cope with his condition

"It is like a family. A lot of minorities are expressed in the game. Gaming has always been there for me, it’s something I can use to escape hospital. I can just escape, watch and enjoy. I feel like it’s another world."

Sam, wish child

Sam’s Wish is to go the Overwatch gaming tournament in London and meet his favourite player for Team Paris, Kruise. Kruise plays the role of ‘healer’ in the game – the same role that Sam takes on. But the healing for Samuel isn’t just in the game, it is a reality of the game.

Please help Sam to escape from a world of patients, pain and procedures to one full of colour, friendship and freedom.

An important update on Sam's wish

March 2020

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Make-A-Wish is having to make similar decisions to those that our wish families make every day. How do we mitigate the risk of infection?  Is it safe? How can we budget for months of uncertainty? How do we prepare for weeks of isolation from others? What can we look forward to once that isolation is over? It’s given us an even greater insight into the challenges faced by the families we support.

We've had to postpone or cancel many wishes due to take place over the coming weeks and months and we need your help now more than ever to ensure when the time comes, we are able to grant the wishes of the hundreds of children waiting to experience the magic of their wish.

Your donation today can help secure Sam's wish, so he has something to look forward to during this difficult time.

Help Sam's wish come true - donate now

Sam's Wish List
Event tickets (inc. VIP access, meet & greet, and merch.) £1300.00
Hotel accommodation £135.00
Rail travel £300.00
Food / spending money £270.00
London travel costs £54.00
Team jersey £30.00
Wishgranting costs £120.00
Total £2209.00

Sponsored donations made towards a child’s wish will go towards their One True Wish. If a child’s wish receives over funding the additional donations will be put towards a similar wish. If a child's wish doesn't reach 100% funding their wish will still take place and general funds will be used.