Home' The Loxton News : February 3rd 2016 Contents The Loxton News, Wednesday, February 3, 2016
by Pamela Perre
All Loxton High School
student Ayla Reid wanted was
to be surprised – and boy, did
she get her wish.
Late last year, the Riverland
branch of the Make-A-Wish
Foundation crashed her piano les-
son at school to surprise her with an
approved wish grant.
Ayla was told she would need
to pack her bags and that the wish
grant would take place in a week.
Little did she know she was about
to embark on the surprise adventure
of a lifetime.
The 16-year-old budding pianist
has cystic fibrosis. However, when
she sat down to speak with The
Loxton News last week, Ayla’s bub-
bly demeanour and positive attitude
showcased her seemingly at the
peak of teenage health.
However, Ayla’s mum Kristy
said, last year that was not the case.
“Ayla had a six-week hospital vis-
it last year,” said her mum Kristy.
“It was a bit of a downer year with
her health. She’s been really well
otherwise, but it was a bit of a bum-
Ayla said the wish came at “just
the right time” to lift her own, and
her family’s spirits.
A week after she was surprised,
Ayla was at the airport with her
mum, dad Paul, and sisters, Emme
“I wasn’t allowed to see the lug-
gage tags or anything,” Ayla said.
“But, when we got to the gate I
saw that we were going to Sydney.”
When she arrived to the hotel in
Sydney, Ayla received the first of
three adventure ‘clue cards’ that
pointed her in the direction of a
Make-A-Wish arranged activity.
“They were like (television
series) The Amazing Race tickets,”
“The first one was to climb the
Sydney Harbour Bridge. And it was
line, and when we climbed to the
top the (bridge climb leader) asked
if I was Ayla and he showed me my
next clue on his iPad.”
Ayla said this clue pointed her
towards to the Sydney Opera House.
“The day of the adventure I
stepped outside of the hotel and
there was a limo waiting there for
us,” she said.
“We arrived at the Sydney Opera
House and we watched the orches-
tra play all kinds of instruments.
It was amazing and the pianist
(Vadym Kholodenko), was perfect.
“After the show was done I
thought the adventure was done,
but then we saw the lady (from
Ayla said she was taken back-
stage to meet Vadym Kholodenko,
who hails from the Ukraine.
“He was really nice, and he told
me how much he practices,” she
“He had his (mini-grand) practice
piano in there, and asked if I wanted
to play on it.
“My mum had my music sheets
in her handbag, so she was already
organised. I was very nervous, but
mum said I did well.
“Then Vadym gave me my next
Ayla said her next clue read, “And
now for your final part of your
adventure, put on your swimmers
and take some breaths.”.
“We headed to the aquarium in
Darling Harbour,” she said.
“I wasn’t quite sure what we
were doing until we got the
tickets – snorkelling, with the
“I did this adventure with dad and
Emme. I wasn’t that scared, I think
dad was though.”
The family spent eight days in
Sydney and were given several free-
days. On those occasions, Kristy
and Paul organised their own events
for the family, including watching
a baseball game, jumping aboard a
submarine, and a zoo visit.
When Ayla first nominated to
receive a Make-A -Wish Foundation
grant, she was interviewed by local
branch members who determined
her interests and likes.
“I didn’t really know what I want-
ed, I just told them to surprise me,”
“Everything was perfect. I am so
Please contact Kathy on 8584 7370 during business hours, email or visit our website for further information
Tuesday 16th February
Opening by Minister Brock
Dedicated by Assistant
Bishop Tim Klein
LIGHT LUNCH PROVIDED
email:ceo@river viewresthome.com.au | www.river viewresthome.com.au 5 LUTHER ROAD, LOXTON, SA
OPEN FOR INSPECTION
Every Sunday 11am - 2pm
Ayla said she “can’t
thank the Make-
-tion enough”, and
wants to get involved
with helping to grant
other sick children’s
After receiving her
wish grant late last year,
she hoped to become
more involved in the
“You really realise
how much the Make-A -
Wish Foundation just
help people,” she said.
“There are so many
people, and so many
things that actually go
into making a wish
“I just want everyone
who isn’t well, to be
able to do this.
“They just want the
kid to have the best, and
to make sure life is as
fun as it can be for them.
“It makes you feel like
they’ve just known you
forever. They are just
really good people.
“I don’t know
how I can show them
how thankful I am.
Because nothing can
be better than the wish
(they gave me).”
Ayla gets her (surprise) wish
Loxton High School student Ayla Reid, 16, who is living with cystic fibrosis, was taken on a trip to Sydney
recently, when she was granted a wish by the Riverland branch of the Make-A -Wish Foundation. INSET: (Top)
Ayla (second from right) with her mum Kristy (left), and sisters Clara, 6, and Emme, 10, at the Sydney Opera
House. Bottom: As part of the wish, internationally acclaimed pianist Vadym Kholodenko, from the Ukraine,
hosted Ayla backstage at the Sydney Opera House and let her play on his mini-grand piano.
‘I can’t thank them enough’
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