Pip, 17, cancer
When Pip was diagnosed with cancer his teenage life changed overnight, undergoing an intensive period of treatment and hospital stays for most of his Year 11 school year. During this challenging period, Pip was unable to take part in his favourite sports and was isolated from his friends.
When Pip heard about Make-A-Wish NZ, and that he could apply to have his one true wish granted, he knew exactly what his wish would be – a basketball half-court in his own backyard!
Pip attends St Patrick’s College in Silverstream, and plays in his school’s basketball team and representative basketball. He loves spending time with his friends and playing basketball, but his illness has prevented him from attending trainings in gyms. Pip’s whole focus when he is unwell or undergoing treatment is to just get on with it so that he can play basketball again. At home there is no driveway to install a hoop, and going out to the local courts is problematic, due to both the distance away and his recovering health and energy levels.
Having his own basketball system at home would give Pip the opportunity to shoot hoops whenever he likes, and to bring his team mates and friends to him as he now has the best home basketball setup in town!
Pip’s wish features a half court and professional-level Airtime 872 hoop and backboard, taking pride of place in his home backyard. The basketball system, kindly donated by Airtime Hoops is similar to the set up used by professional basketball players. The court was the brain child of Pip’s family and Make-A-Wish volunteers and far exceeded any vision Pip could hope for. It was dug out and laid with concrete with the assistance from Make-A-Wish NZ’s corporate partner Mico and a team from Firth and Placemakers who donated the labour and materials.
Pip celebrated the unveiling of his wish with a party with his family and friends. Pip’s basketball team mates joined him for the first practice game on his new court.
Shortly before the half court was unveiled Piripi received some good news. His most recent checkup showed his cancer is in remission.
Wish volunteer, Claire Stewart says ‘’Between Make-A-Wish and Pip we have created a community. I know there will be many many happy fun hours on the basketball court, and I heard they also use it as a dance floor!"
Read the Dominion Post/STUFF article here
Watch the video interview - press the play button in the image below