Young Tuhoe's Christmas wish to become a reality

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

Two good Samaritans are making a young Māori boy's dream come true. Tūhoe Hohaia was diagnosed with a life threatening illness at the age of seven and now thanks to the Make A Wish Foundation, he'll be getting an early Christmas present. 

It's what many young boys dream of, a pirate ship play house. That's exactly they 7-year-old wished for.

Roz Tommas from Make A Wish says, "Tūhoe's wish for a Pirate themed play house was amazing because he's quite specific in what he required, his favourite colour is green, for example he wanted a slide and wanted to be able to shoot his sisters with his guns from his pirate ship."

Tūhoe was diagnosed with Burkitts Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is commonly found in children in central Africa. He spent months in Starship Children's Hospital receiving treatment but is now back home in Taumarunui.

Michael Webb-Speight and his son Oliver are in charge of making the ship. They hope this ship will lift Tūhoe's spirits.

"He's got plenty of challenges of his own we just hope that something quite special about this Christmas for him and for us it's just all the fun of it," Webb-Speight says.

Make A Wish's Jordan Milligan adds, "Doctors they all agree and I don't think you really need to do studies to prove that when kids are looking forward to something and hoping for a wish they have a better chance of survival and that's what our wishes."

Michael and Oliver spent over one hundred hours on the project and invested $3000 to make a boy's wish come true.

"Apparently he's already seen some stuff on Facebook so he knows its coming and that's even better actully because he's got a bit of time to kind of get his head around it," says Webb-Speight.

The play house will be towed from Auckland to Taumarunui, to Tūhoe's home on Tuesday.