Young cancer patient's wish 'to blow stuff up' granted by police

'You don’t realise how important these wishes are until you’re receiving one'

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The Independent Online

A 12-year-old cancer patient has been granted a lifelong dream and allowed to “blow stuff up” with explosives at a police training camp.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to realise the wishes of leukaemia patient Declan from Sydney, and put him through his paces with a series of drills.

Declan, who is in remission from the disease, started the day being picked up by a security motorcade and spent several hours at AFP’s Specialist Response Group HQ in Canberra.

He got the chance to try out various hostage scenarios with the team before detonating explosive charges at the training village.

“You don’t realise how important these wishes are until you’re receiving one,” Declan’s mother Belinda said. “He wanted to just blow something up, and he did that, which was awesome.”

Police and local army officers granted Declan the opportunity to try out a variety of different weapons and situations throughout his day. He also had a brief meet-and-greet with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and the local governor Peter Cosgrove.

“To be involved in something like this is a special opportunity for us to get involved with someone who’s going through a tough time,” said Sergeant Peter Murphy. “If we can do anything to brighten their day or give them a happy experience then we’re more than happy to do that.”

The Make-A-Wish Foundation was founded in April 1980, with the ambition of granting memorable experiences to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Children must be aged between 3 and 17 to qualify for the experiences. According to the charity, Make-A-Wish grants an experience to a child every 35 minutes on average.