Make-A-Wish bought Oliver Deighton to Namadgi National Park to meet the corroboree frog | The Canberra Times

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Of all the wishes in the world, Oliver Deighton has used his to travel to Namadgi National Park to meet the northern corroboree frog. The Queenslander traveled to the ACT with his family courtesy of the Make-A-Wish foundation, after three long years of leukemia treatment. “I got to hold a corroboree frog. I got to hold an earless dragon. And I got to touch a rock wallaby,” Oliver said. The nine-year-old fell in love with frogs and snakes watching wildlife documentaries while recovering from chemotherapy treatment. He is now in remission and the family are on a 12-month trip around Australia to celebrate. His mum Samantha Deighton said they were taking every opportunity to see as much of the great outdoors as possible. “I guess to give him some time to do the things he wasn’t able to do,” she said. Alongside his four-year-old brother Parker “who is turning five next week”, Oliver first joined the threatened species team at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and then got a special tour of the National Zoo. With the help of ACT Parks Dr Sarah May, the future zoologist released critically-endangered frogs being bred at Tidbinbilla. During their private tour of the zoo, Oliver said he fed a tiger, a bear, a cheetah, meerkats and a giraffe. “And I got to hold a shingleback and two snakes,” he said. Ms Deighton said the Make-A-Wish day had been two-and-a-half years in the making. “Because of COVID and everything else happening it all got delayed,” she said. Make-A-Wish Australia CEO Sally Bateman said more than 800 seriously ill children were waiting for their wish to be granted, due to the pandemic. “The need for community support is greater than ever before,” Ms Bateman said. READ ALSO: For Oliver, Ms Deighton said the wish stayed the same from the beginning. “It was always just about seeing an endangered species in the wild,” she said. The Deighton family are currently camped out in Geelong, before taking the caravan up to South Australia on the journey back to Airlie Beach. Having moved from their home to Brisbane for 11 months at the start of Oliver’s treatment, Ms Deighton said everyone was looking forward to life returning to something more normal. Oliver has set his outdoor ambitions high, too. “I’m planning on seeing a fox,” he said. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:



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