Did you know that there is an island in Australia with a world-famous penguin parade? Neither did we until Olivia wished to go there! The 7-year-old from Centreville, VA received her first stuffed penguin while battling leukemia, which brightened her day and immediately sparked a love of penguins! Olivia researched all types of penguins before discovering the penguin parade at Phillip Island, Australia. When she learned Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic would grant her wish, she knew she wanted to see the parade in person.
Once they arrived in Australia, Olivia and her family returned to the special beach night after night to watch the penguins scurry back home after a long day fishing in the water. Olivia was amazed to see how small they were in person and how they would take the exact same path every night.
When she wasn’t watching the penguin parade at night, Olivia loved discovering new animals and terrain. She especially loved visiting the beach, where she would find giant rocks to climb with her brother and chase the water in the wet sand. The family went on a boat tour and found seals lounging around in their natural environment. Olivia also got to visit an animal park, where she fed an albino kangaroo, pet a koala and sat patiently for a dingo to come close for a hug! On another day, her family spent time in the forest, experiencing the trees from inside a gondola high in the sky.
Olivia’s trip to Australia changed how she saw the world and introduced her to so many new things! These moments brought her and her family special memories to treasure forever. Olivia’s mom shared the impact her wish trip had on Olivia, saying, “it is really difficult to fully explain how amazing it is to see such pure joy and delight on her face.”