Wishing for an inspirational hero
WISH GRANTED: Local lad Josh Ruane had a special visit from his idol, Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
ARMY cadet Josh Ruane had just one wish – to meet his idol, Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith.
That wish was granted when the Australian solider surprised the teen in hospital, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Josh has spent the past eight months in the Brisbane’s Royal Children’s Hospital fighting a rare form of leukaemia, but for one day he could forget all the pain.
The 15-year-old was lost for words when his hero peered around the corner of his hospital ward.
“I couldn’t believe it ... that he was actually there,” Josh said.
Josh, who has aspirations to join the army as a combat engineer, submitted the request through Make-A-Wish to meet his idol, but said he never imagined it would come true.
The local lad explained he greatly admired the Victoria Cross recipient because of the courage the corporal displayed while under fire in Afghanistan.
“He got a medal and with the medal comes standing by your mates,” Josh said.
“If I had a chance for another wish, that would be the wish again.”
Josh’s mum, Colleen, had been keeping the visit a secret for a number of weeks.
“It was so hard for the couple of weeks I knew about it. I kept nearly blurting it out every time,” Mrs Ruane said.
“When Ben poked his head around the corner, the look on Josh’s face – he was shocked.
“I’ll never forget the look on his face.
“It was amazing when he met Ben … He is such a down-to-earth, really lovely guy.”
The surprise visit is just what Josh needs as he prepares for his next battle – a bone marrow transplant.
And he is going to need all the strength and determination he can muster as he faces a tough six weeks of intensive treatment in isolation.
“Josh, myself and family would like to say a huge thank you to everyone for their support and well wishes and that we can’t wait for this to be over and back in our own little community,” Mrs Ruane said.
The determined teen has one clear message to his friends back in the Isis district: “I’ll be back”.
See how school students showed their support for Josh in next week’s Town & Country.
WISH GRANTED: Not only did Josh Ruane’s wish to meet Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith come true, the teen also came face-to-face with another army member – an explosives detection dog. Josh hopes to one day work with detection dogs in the army.