Show wish is a spoonful of sugar for Max

By Joseph Aldridge

Asked to make a wish for anything in the world, 5-year-old Max Necklen couldn't decide between going to see the Mary Poppins Musical or getting a new toy monkey.

As it turned out he got both, thanks to the Make a Wish Foundation.

Max was diagnosed with leukaemia 2 and one-half years ago and has undergone 12-weekly sessions of chemotherapy ever since. The Make a Wish Foundation is for children with life-threatening illnesses and staff asked Max what he would most like about a month ago.

Yesterday, Max was visited by wish co-ordinator Glynis Winton, aka Mary Poppins, who not only delivered a new monkey, but also gave Max and his family tickets to the Mary Poppins Musical in Auckland.

Max was told he would be sitting in the third row but wasn't told that he would get to meet the entire cast after the show.

Mum, Alicia Necklen, said the granted wish was "awesome" for Max and the whole family.

"We try not to have him treated differently in terms of missing out on things but the reality is that he does because he can't do a lot of things other children do ...

so it's a bit of a treat for him," she said.

The chemotherapy had weakened Max's immune system, meaning he was held back from swimming and other activities to preserve his health, Mrs Necklen said.

Going to see the Mary Poppins show would be "incredible" for Max, who loved singing and music.

Mrs Winton said the family would stay at the City Life Apartments in Auckland for three days next week, when they would attend the Mary Poppins Musical and visit Auckland Zoo.

This is the second wish the organisation has granted Max. In 2011, a fire engine laden with boxes of toys arrived at his Tauranga home. Make a Wish Foundation volunteer Pat Roser said eligible children were nominated by paediatricians and the board made decisions about granting wishes.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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