Make-A-Wish Foundation plays Santa for children with life-threatening medical condition

Highlight of the day was Zeeshan William’s who wished to decorate a Christmas tree.

Rimsha Khan, suffering from a tumour in one of her legs that has spread to her abdomen, paints with help from artist Jimmy Engineer at the event organised at Sheraton hotel. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/ EXPRESS

KARACHI: It doesn’t take much to make children happy - candy and toys are usually a sure bet. But the list of wishes Make-A-Wish Foundation received from children with terminal illness ranged from meeting Bollywood superstar Salman Khan to performing Umrah. It was after all their chance to make their wishes come true on Christmas.

Nine-year-old Rimsha Khan, however, only wanted to paint and have her work appreciated. And she got a chance to do so with renowned artist Jimmy Engineer on Tuesday at the event held by the foundation.

Rimsha suffers from a tumour in one of her legs that has spread to her abdomen, says her father M Irfan Khan, who gives a thumbs-up to his daughter every time she looks up to him for support.

“Doctors have said she might need an operation,” he said, as Rimsha painted with help from Engineer. “We were approached by Make-A-Wish Foundation, Pakistan a month back. I am glad they have arranged such an event.”

Father of Rimsha

Three other terminally-ill children were also granted their wishes at the programme held in collaboration with Sheraton Hotel.

The highlight of the day was the surprise for frail-looking Zeeshan William who wished to decorate a Christmas tree and receive gifts from Santa Claus. His entire family was called on to the stage where they cut a cake as other children sang carols.

Representatives of Make-A- Wish Pakistan said  that dozens of children with life-threatening medical condition have seen their wishes come true over the years.

Six-year-old Ambreen Zarrar suffers from blood cancer and has withstood the painful process of chemotherapy for two years. But on Christmas day, she was dressed in pink with angel’s wings attached to her back. Although too shy too speak, her mother told The Express Tribune that Ambreen was very excited about getting her hands on a promised Barbie Doll set.

Areeba Gulzar wanted her moment in the spotlight - she got her chance of being a model for a day walking the ramp with model Nadia Hussain.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2012.


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