Abu Dhabi’s Make-a-Wish Foundation sends boy and 200 his pals to Ferrari WorldDate : 2015-04-13
When Ali Saleh was contacted by the Make-a-Wish Foundation UAE, he asked that not only he but all 200 of his fellow campers at the Basma Diabetes Camp be taken to Ferrari World on Yas Island for a day of play.
Ali, 10, from Kuwait, suffers from Type 1 Diabetes and attended the camp in Ras Al Khaimah earlier this year. Because of his situation, Ali was unable to be like other children growing up, to go out and play with other kids, so his wish came from that want,” said Hani Al Zubaidi, chief executive of the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The organization helps grant wishes to ill children through its philanthropic events. It started in Abu Dhabi in 2003, and the first wish it received was from a sick child who wanted to meet with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai. His wish was granted. Since then, the charity has expanded its network to work with local companies. Ferrari World worked with the foundation by offering discounted tickets and designing an experience especially for the campers. When we asked him what he wanted, it made us all smile about it,” Mr Al Zubaidi said. “He said, ‘I want to go to Ferrari World but I don’t want to go alone’.” The boy said he wanted “every single one of them to share the same joy I have”, Mr Al Zubaidi said. The foundation made the necessary arrangements and Jesse Vargas, general manager of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, received his young guests. “I was touched by the personal story of Ali Saleh, the Kuwaiti child suffering Diabetes A type, the worst, who had this long-held wish to visit the park and expressed not only for himself, but for all his friends from the Basma Smile camp in Ras Al Khaimah,” Mr Vargas said. He added that while the theme park has a natural interest in helping promote awareness and help for non-profit organisations, for him it was more than that. “I was personally moved and heartened that our park was chosen once again to make so many children happy,” Mr Vargas said. At Ferrari World, the children had unrestricted access, received VIP treatment and a specially cooked lunch created for those with diabetes. “For him, he was so happy,” Mr Al Zubaidi said. “He was smiling the entire day to play with his friends and we were going from one game to the next with them, trying to keep up.” https://www.thenational.ae/uae/abu-dhabi-s-make-a-wish-foundation-sends-boy-and-200-his-pals-to-ferrari-world-1.38057