VICTOR HARBOR – For Josh Wenham, a 13-year-old Victor Harbor boy living with Type 1 Diabetes, each day can be a challenge.
However when he found out he would be traveling to Melbourne to watch the AFL Grand Final thanks to a wish granted by the Starlight Foundation, his spirits were raised.
Josh found out in August that he would be granted the “on-field experience” at football’s biggest day, however he was unsure whether his beloved Tigers were going to be in the match at that point.
Josh’s mother, Beck Wenham, said Josh knew the Tigers were playing well, but considering the club’s recent history in the finals they may not have made it.
“He said if the Tigers didn’t get in it would still be a great experience,” Mrs Wenham said.
But as the Grand Final got closer, Josh started to see the life-changing experience take shape, which culminated in watching the club’s preliminary final win against Greater Western Sydney at the MCG on television the week before.
“In the GWS match, he was going crazy,” Mrs Wenham said.
“Josh and (his father) Neville have supported Richmond since they were born.”
The Starlight Foundation flew Josh and his parents to Melbourne, organised accommodation and tickets to the game, as well as a limousine ride to and from the ground.
He said the experience was something he would never forget.
“We went to the parade on Friday and watched Richmond train at Punt Road,” Josh said.
“And after the win we went back to Punt Road the next day to enjoy the celebrations.”
Mrs Wenham said Josh understood how valuable an experience like this was and that he was thankful to the Starlight Foundation for making it happen.
“He’s had it (Type 1 Diabetes) since he was six and he’s also had a really tough start to Year 8 this year,” she said.
“He realises what a big thing it was that’s been done for him.
“I said to him ‘this is for everything you go through, this is your little thing back’.”