Ve­nessa im­presses

Stan makes wish re­al­ity

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - By FLORENCE KERR

Meet­ing Aus­tralian Idol win­ner Stan Walker was a wish come true for Toko­roa eight-year-old Ve­nessa Nu­manga.

Ve­nessa, who has a brain tu­mour which ren­dered her blind from the age of four, was granted her dream to meet the sul­try singer through Make a Wish New Zealand, a group ded­i­cated to grant­ing wishes for chil­dren who suf­fer from life-threat­en­ing ill­ness.

‘‘I met Stan Walker and he sung me heaps of songs and me and my dad sang him a spe­cial song too aye mummy,’’ Ve­nessa told South Waikato News.

Ve­nessa with her par­ents, Tracey and Tua Nu­manga and ex­tended fam­ily trav­elled to Auck­land three weeks ago to meet up with Stan be­fore he be­gan his nation-wide tour of New Zealand.

‘‘I was very happy to meet him. He gave me tick­ets to his con­cert and he gave me heaps of hugs.’’

Ve­nessa also re­ceived back­stage passes to Stan’s con­cert in Tau­ranga next year.

‘‘She ab­so­lutely loves his sing­ing,’’ Mum, Tracey Nu­manga said. ‘‘We were so ex­cited. Ve­nessa is more calm about things, she was able to con­verse with him while me and her fa­ther were still buzzing.’’

Stan Walker took to his so­cial net­work­ing page Twit­ter to talk about meet­ing Ve­nessa and her fam­ily.

‘‘This is an amaz­ing whanau I met 2day.

Vanessa in the mid­dle.

Her wish was 2 c and meet me!!! Thanku God 4 her.’’

The bub­bly eight-year-old shows no signs of let­ting her ill­ness bring her down. The Bishop Ed­ward Gaines stu­dent who has im­pec­ca­ble man­ners and is very ar­tic­u­late for her age is happy she was able to share her wish with her fam­ily. ‘‘ I’m so happy my mummy and daddy were able to meet with Stan too. He has a very nice voice but so do me and my dad, that is why we sung him a song as well. Oh and we brought him a present, we got him a I heart Tok T-shirt, he loved it.’’

Mrs Nu­manga, who has sat by her daugh­ter’s bed­side dur­ing nu­mer­ous trips to Star­ship Hos­pi­tal, said her fight to live al­most ended in June this year. ‘‘ We al­most lost her this year, that’s what prompted us to put in a wish for her. She is our baby and she hardly ever com­plains. I think she gets more wor­ried about us then her­self.’’

Ve­nessa is not too wor­ried about what gifts await her un­der the tree, she is more ex­cited about the fam­ily’s plans to hol­i­day at their bach in Whanga­mata.

WISH FUL­FILLED: Toko­roa’s Ve­nessa Nu­manga meets Aus­tralian Idol star Stan Walker.

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