CHRISTMAS has come early for Ballarat boy Charlie Deeble after he became the proud owner of a ride-on tractor through the Make-A-Wish program.
Readers of The Courier would be familiar with Charlie, 3, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when he was just 22 months old.
He has endured more than 12 months of intensive chemotherapy, followed by maintenance therapy due to be completed in 2014.
On Saturday he received a John Deere 12V XUV Gator, courtesy of Make-A-Wish, Windmill Ag and John Deere.
Along with his sister Georgia, Charlie wasted no time in getting behind the wheel.
Mother Rhiannon Deeble said that during treatment at the Royal Children’s Hospital cancer centre, ride-on tractors have given Charlie something to smile about.
“Charlie has gone through so much, but when he rides around on the tractors at the cancer centre you would have no idea what he was there for,” she said.
“He is such a tough little man and we are so proud of him.” Make-A-Wish co-ordinator Alison Powell said the Ballarat team was overwhelmed by the generosity of local businessman Matthew Kurz and John Deere for the donation.
“After we initially approached for a written quote, he took an interest in this wish child and approached the directors of Windmill Ag about donating the Gator,” she said.
“They didn’t hesitate and as a result Charlie is able to get his wish granted sooner rather than later.”
Mrs Deeble said the family was very thankful that Charlie was able to have his wish granted.
“We are very appreciative of the generosity of Make-A-Wish and Windmill Ag for bringing much happiness to Charlie and our family just before Christmas.”