Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Peter's quiet joy

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By JUSTIN LATIF - Western Leader
Last updated 05:00 19/05/2009

HAPPY: Peter Pirie and his mum Bridget enjoy the festivities.

Cancer patient Peter Pirie doesn’t talk much because of his down syndrome. But his smile said it all on Thursday when The Funky Monkeys turned up at his house for a special performance.

The brave six-year-old’s pleasure was equally obvious when he saw the new playground and trampoline that arrived earlier in the week.

It all came courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a charitable trust that fulfils the dreams of youngsters with deadly diseases.

Peter, who lives in Ranui, was diagnosed with leukaemia a year ago.

His family applied to the foundation on his behalf, asking for something Peter would be able to enjoy with his eight-year-old brother Griffin.

Everyone is thrilled with the outcome.

"Peter was already a Funky Monkeys fan," his father Colin says.

"But he’ll like them even more now.

"And he’s been playing on the trampoline ever since, despite the rain.

"We definitely appreciate the foundation’s efforts.

"It’s fantastic that they’ve organised all this and it’s really amazing how much Peter has enjoyed it."

Peter is a pupil at Waitakere Primary School and has another 18 months left of treatment for his leukaemia.

Colin is positive his son will come through it all. "The first year is the hardest but he’s doing well."

Funky Monkeys spokesman Chris Lam Sam says the performance had double significance for himself and fellow members Neil Tolan and Joe McNamara.

"It’s the first time we’ve done something for Make-A-Wish and the first time we’ve performed on a driveway," he says.

"Peter could have chosen an All Black or television celebrity to visit but he chose us instead so we’re very honoured."

The Make-A-Wish Foundation was started in 1980 in the United States and is now in 27 countries. It relies on donations and volunteers to make its activities possible.

Call 920-4760 or email if you can help.