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Jessica talks about the special memories she has of her little brother

Jessica, wish sibling and volunteer

"The time we got to spend together seeing Ethan so happy and filled with laughter is a real lasting memory for our family. The pictures and memories will last a lifetime!"

In November 2010, my brother Ethan, who was 10 at the time, had his wish granted by Make-A- Wish. Ethan, me, my mum and a family friend spent the most amazing and unforgettable weekend in London!

The wish that was granted to Ethan was to see the X Factor rehearsals before the live show which would take place that night. As a family we got to meet the contestants including One Direction who Ethan and I were both so excited about.

We got to watch the show with a seat near to the front. We also got to travel to the studio in a limo which was a complete surprise to us both.

ethan and zayn malik

The weekend was filled with sightseeing including The London Eye and Madame Tussauds.

We also visited the famous toy shop Hamleys, where Ethan picked some very weird and wonderful toys – as only he could! To top the whole weekend off we stayed in a beautiful hotel and got to eat out one night at the Hard Rock Café in the centre of London.

The time we got to spend together seeing Ethan so happy and filled with laughter is a real lasting memory for our family. The pictures and memories will last a lifetime!

jessica smiling with one direction

Ethan had been diagnosed with cancer behind his nose called Rhabdomyosarcoma. He had radiotherapy and chemotherapy for his treatment, so he spent lots of time as a patient in both Pendlebury and Manchester children’s hospital.

Ethan missed some school time because of this, however he never fell behind and I feel this just reflected his amazing character.

Despite obviously being very poorly especially when having his treatments, Ethan was always so full of life which made the wish so special and happy because he really got the chance to enjoy the weekend to the fullest.

Sadly Ethan lost his brave battle to cancer five years ago. Our weekend in London makes up just a small part of all the special memories that we had with him.

Losing a younger sibling to such an awful disease is such a hard thing to even imagine for people who haven’t been through it.

It is sometimes very hard to tell people how I have lost my brother to cancer and to tell our story. But when I talk about Ethan I am filled with pride that I got the chance to grow up alongside such a cheeky, amazing and inspiring little boy. I want to tell people all about him and how my naughty little brother was so unique and special.

ethan and his mum and his sister smiling by a fountain

I have recently decided to become a Make-A-Wish volunteer because I want to tell people about Ethan and our experience as a family.

I feel it’s important that every child like him should get the wish they deserve and be able to feel special whilst doing it. Our weekend was a wish for all of us and not just for Ethan as it provided beautiful memories and family time that we can treasure forever.

Me and mum still talk about the weekend and say how we couldn’t fault the Make-A-Wish team for all the organising and planning that went into making the weekend happen. I personally feel that a wish is so important and special as it focuses on the happiest and most magical times, which are sometimes few and far between when you have a sick child or sibling. 

Find out about volunteering for us.