Make-A-Wish® UK has granted its 10,000th wish to nine-year-old Ben Harnwell whose dream was to be a chef for a day.
The Arbroath-born youngster was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in 2011. During this difficult time, Ben became really interested in all things food-related and watched cooking programmes when he was in hospital.
So, when he turned to Make-A-Wish, it came as no surprise that he wished to be a chef for the day. Ben travelled in a limousine to Le Bistro Beaumartin in Glasgow, where he was met by head chef and fellow Lichtie, Andrew Stott. Andrew presented Ben with his very own chef outfit and the pair hit it off right away, with Ben’s mum Michelle describing them as “two peas in a pod!” Ben spent the afternoon making a special food buffet for his family, which included pizza, steak, snails and frogs’ legs!
Andrew, who is also joint owner of the bistro with Richard Dupupet, told the Herald: “When Ben arrived in to the bistro, his first words to me were “I was born in Arbroath“ which made me smile!”
Ben had three years of cancer treatment, including intensive chemotherapy, platelets, steroids and blood transfusions. He put on a lot of weight, lost his hair and for a period of time used a wheelchair.
Mum Michelle said: “Ben lost a lot of confidence during his treatment, which was the saddest thing. However, the fact that he can say he went to a restaurant to be a chef makes him feel special and important. Make-A-Wish touch the hearts of children that are going through things other people may never understand; they give children confidence, smiles and happiness. A wish is more than that, though – it is about independence and achieving something, which is what Ben has done.”
Footage of the wish can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/x1pXj1JbhwQ
There are currently 20,000 children and young people in the UK fighting a life-threatening condition and over 1,000 of them will turn to Make-A-Wish this year. We want to grant a wish to every eligible child, but can’t do that without the generosity of the public. Make-A-Wish receives no government funding – so every donation really does count.
To make a donation or refer a child to Make-A-Wish please visit: www.make-a-wish.org.uk or telephone 01276 40 50 70.