Wish comes true as boy gets the booty

By Sandra Conchie

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Dylan Rossiter-Popp's dreams of having his own pirate ship bed and meeting his idol, Captain Jack Sparrow, have come true thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The Omokoroa five-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2009 after his parents Coral Rossiter and Darryl Popp noticed he was having trouble walking while recovering from a minor fall.

Dylan had his final treatment in November and is now in remission. He had his first out-patient clinic appointment on Friday, just in time for his Make-A-Wish surprise on Saturday.

Ms Rossiter said local Make-A-Wish volunteer Bets Thomas arrived at the family's home with a Playmobil pirate ship and a remote control helicopter, followed by fellow wish fairy Sarah Harcourt and actor Matt Simmons as Captain Jack Sparrow.

The pair bought a chest full of pirate-themed presents.

Ms Rossiter said the generosity of the foundation was "mind-blowing".

"We would have been just happy with the pirate bed but the gifts just kept coming. Dylan also now has a massive Playmobil pirate ship with lots of movable parts, including a cannon which torpedoes, as well as two smaller ones, pirate costume, swords and other goodies, including a massive treasure chest big enough for him to hide in.

"Dylan was so excited ... at one stage his squeals were at such a high pitch that I think only dogs could hear it," she said.

Earlier on Saturday, a Hire A Hubby staff member erected Dylan's pirate ship bed, which included a ladder, escape slide and a hideaway-hole underneath big enough to store a desk and chair, with a bookshelf at one end.

Ms Rossiter said Dylan spent about three hours watching Richard put the bed together.

The excited youngster said: "It's the best birthday present ever. I love my pirate costume and sleeping in my new bed."

Ms Rossiter and Mr Popp wanted to say a huge big thank you to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, its two wish fairies and Captain Sparrow, who had made their little boy so happy.

"Captain Sparrow was just amazing. He spent hours with Dylan sitting on the floor helping him put the pirate ship together and sword fighting with him in the backyard, and he kept in character the whole time."

Ms Thomas said: "The whole philosophy of the Make-A-Wish is to bring some magic into the lives of children suffering life-threatening illnesses, and Saturday was a prime example of that.

"It's was just delightful seeing Dylan's reaction to his bed and his other presents and he was so excited. It was just magical the way he looked up at Captain Jack Sparrow with such awe."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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