Ash Barty has taken some time out from her preparations for the Australian Open to fulfil the dream of a young fan battling serious illness.
The women's World No.1 teamed up with Make-A-Wish Australia this week to grant the wish of 10-year-old Paige from Brisbane.
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Paige, who has suffered from Cystic Fibrosis since she was born, wanted to meet her idol and fellow Queenslander Barty.
On Monday while Barty was preparing for the Australian Open at Pat Rafter Arena at the Queensland Tennis Centre, the 25-year-old took some time to fulfil Paige's wish.
Paige got to watch Barty train with fellow Aussie stars Priscilla Hon and Kimberly Birrell, before Barty invited Paige out onto the court to play some doubles.
Paige got to play alongside Barty in a game against Hon and Birrell.
Following the hit, Barty signed a singlet and some tennis balls for her 10-year-old fan.
“I can’t believe Make-A-Wish made Paige’s wish come true, she was ecstatic and still has a smile on her face. I was nearly in tears too,” said father Brian.
“Paige is inspired by Ash, she is a girl from Brisbane, just like her, who has achieved her dreams.
“This opportunity has changed my daughter’s life, thank you Make-A-Wish for making Paige’s wish come true."
Paige's grandmother posted photos and videos of the beautiful scenes on social media, with fans praising Barty and Make-A-Wish for the gesture.
Amazing! So special.
Tell your granddaughter I have a friend who has CF who turned 50 this year and has done all sorts of incredible things in her life so far, and will continue to.
— Helene (@heleneheleneso) December 13, 2021
Wow, must have been a very special day for her and what a great role model to aspire towards 😊
— Jane Minchin (@janespeysdogs) December 13, 2021
Your heart must be bursting with joy.Thank you for sharing the making of your girls dream coming true ..
— Lulu 💧🐨 (@Luluflower2020) December 13, 2021
Fantastic, what a great wish & role model, so happy your girls wish could be made a reality
— 🍍#AbscondmentDay Emergency&BushfireKits (@EmergencyBK) December 13, 2021
Lovely to see, one happy girl. 😃
— 💧sandyj (@bsadams25) December 13, 2021
Barty a genuine champion
— john forrest 🖤 💛 💗🐀 Prole. (@johnfor23089656) December 13, 2021
Absolutely terrific. 😊
— TomB 🕯🐀✳️✳️✳️👽Hindsight Hero (@TomBurkeDarwin) December 13, 2021
Make-A-Wish has been granting wishes for over 30 years
Make-A-Wish Australia has been granting the wishes of seriously ill children since 1985, granting over 10,000 wishes.
“We hope by sharing Paige’s story and the amazing work of the Wish Force volunteers, we can highlight the lasting impact that wishes have on seriously ill children and their families," said CEO Sally Bateman.
“Wish fulfillments can range from welcoming a puppy to the family to being a super hero or going on a trip to the snow, every wish is as unique as the child who imagines it."
A Make-A-Wish spokesperson told Yahoo Sport Australia: "Due to the impacts of Covid-19, Make-A-Wish Australia has more than 800 seriously ill children waiting for a wish.
"With no government funding, Make-A-Wish relies on the incredible generosity and support from donors, volunteers, partners and the special friends who help make these wishes happen."
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