Editorial comment – Our good Samaritans

Akariva Kilaiwekana receives his gift from Make-A-Wish founder Gilli Sinclair at the New Zealand High Commissioner's residence in Suva this morning. Picture: ARIETA VAKASUKAWAQA

Young Akariva Kilaiwekana, 10, and Unaisi Radinibeqa, 15, have something in common.

Apart from the fact that they received a bright moment in their lives when they were granted a wish by Good Samaritans, they each suffer from different forms of cancer.

Their lives may not be as rosy as other youngsters their age, however, there are moments they will no doubt treasure.

Little Akariva, received his tragic news on October 29 at Suva’s CWMH when he was diagnosed with leukaemia.

His grandmother, Volaivuna Sigasiganavanua, 62, spoke about the moment the little boy was told that the sickness could eventually claim his life.

She spoke about the emotional moment when her grandson could not hold back tears.

Yesterday, thanks to the Make-A-Wish initiative, the young boy from Matacaucau Village in Tailevu was granted his wish to own a television set.

It obviously is a moment of joy that hopefully would provide a little touch of relief from the stress and pain he goes through daily.

Mrs Sigasigavanua said she started looking after Akariva a few years ago when his parents separated. With the new 40inch flat screen television set, Mrs Sigasigavanua said her grandson would no longer have to leave home to watch the World Rugby Seven series.

Unaisi’s wish to wear a pink dress on Christmas day was granted yesterday as well.

The 15-year-old girl from Nawaisomo Village in Naitasiri was among recipients of the Make-A-Wish initiative at the New Zealand High Commissioner’s residence in Suva yesterday.

The CWM Hospital has been home for her for the past three years after a tumour was found in her throat.

As part of her wish, she was given an iPad, sets of pink dresses, books, and dolls.

Her younger sister Naomi Tobeidu, 12, said they were looked after by their grandmother after their parents separated a few years ago

“I am so happy to see her smile today, she was happy with her pink dress and all other gifts.

“My grandmother was so happy to see her, we came all the way from Nawaisomo Village. I miss her because she was like my best friend in the village and in school,” Tobeidu said.

Make-A-Wish initiative founder Gilli Sinclair said so far they have assisted more than 50 children in Fiji over the past two years.

Ms Sinclair says that making children diagnosed with cancer smile has been her passion.

They have assisted 15,000 children diagnosed with cancer over the past few years.

Sometimes we need to take a breather, to reset our priorities in life. Such stories must wake us up to the harsh reality that not everything is rosy for everyone.

There are many children suffering silently, struggling to overcome their fears. Some of them are fortunate they have family members who provide the vital support base that allows them to carry on with life daily.

Many will never be known, except to their loved ones.

They have also harboured hopes and aspirations as well.

Many have passed on.

They were young. They were children.

Good Samaritans are out there.

We acknowledge them all.

Thank you for your work behind the scenes.

Thank you for giving our children suffering from various forms of cancer their moments of joy.

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