For wish kid Jonathon, Australia’s Kangaroo Island is for survivors, like him.
Australia is inhabited by hundreds of exotic creatures (like Jonathon). Yet, just off the tip of South Australia, Kangaroo Island sits untouched and with species that thrive because more than one third of the land has been declared Conservation or National Park.
Diagnosed with Lymphoid leukemia in 2009, 13-year-old Jonathon could relate to those exotic creatures trying to survive. After enduring countless hours of treatment with difficult, life-changing medical procedures, Jonathon has survived. Therefore, Jonathon’s one true wish was to go to Kangaroo Island and see his kindred animals.
The only way to access Kangaroo Island is by plane or boat. Jonathon, who is afraid of heights, showed no fear as he boarded a small passenger propeller plane with his family, his excitement overpowering all other emotions.
Once Jonathon and his family made it to the island, Jonathon’s first brush with the wildlife was being greeted by tiny penguins that were near the house where they were staying.
He and his family headed out on a four-wheel tour of the island, and he served as navigator — pointing out all the roads they had to take. They explored the volcanic terrain and saw great white shark breeding ground, but Jonathon was most excited to see the animals — sea lions, penguins, wallabies and more!
Jonathon also visited a rescued animal sanctuary on the island where he saw peacocks roaming free, pet koalas and even fed kangaroos. Caught up with feeding the kangaroos, he did not want to stop to even feed himself for lunch!
After an entire day on Kangaroo Island, you would think Jonathon and his family would need to rest but not them! Jonathon spent the rest of his trip exploring Sydney and visiting some of the wildlife zoos to see even more animals.
“Despite my fear of heights, we walked to the top of one of the towers (at the Sydney Harbor Bridge) and got some amazing views of Sydney Opera House next door and the harbor,” Jonathon said.
Jonathon and his family also visited SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium where they saw hundreds of fish, sharks and held starfish.
“My favorite part was touching the pillow starfish and sea urchins,” Jonathon said. “I discovered the sea urchins aren’t painful to touch, and one literally latched onto my finger like Velcro.”
Jonathon and his family completed their trip with a visit to Taronga Zoo where they had a wild time seeing koalas, emus, different types of kangaroos and more! Jonathon and his family even were allowed into the koala enclosure where he could look, but not touch, the cuddly looking, but dangerous bears.
In all, Jonathon’s wish was everything he could have imagined and more. He survived the koala exhibit, conquered his fear of heights and even brought home an authentic didgeridoo to master. Jonathon’s trip with his family to Kangaroo Island was an adventure of survival and a very unique and wild wish come true.