Thanks Make-a-Wish

KAT PICKFORD
Last updated 12:26 25/02/2013
James Rondel
Kat Pickford
Stoked: James Rondel has a new phone thanks to the Make-A-Wish.

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A Blenheim teen with cystic fibrosis is stoked he will be able to stay in touch with his mates during his hospital visits, thanks to Make-A-Wish New Zealand.

James Rondel, 15, was born with cystic fibrosis, an incurable genetic disorder which causes the body to produce abnormally thick and sticky mucus.

The mucus builds up in the lungs and pancreas, making it difficult to breathe, and causing a host of problems including excessive coughing, pancreatitis and increased vulnerability to chest infections such as pneumonia.

During a two-week stay in Wairau Hospital in September, the Marlborough Boys' College student was encouraged to apply to Make-A-Wish New Zealand, a charity that grants the wishes of Kiwi kids living with life-threatening medical conditions.

He was thrilled to receive a visit from the organisation, which gave him an iPhone 5 and a Dr Who season 5 box set, on Monday last week.

"It was pretty cool," James said. "I always dreamed of having an iPhone so I can stay in touch with my friends, play video games and listen to music in hospital."

The keen skateboarder and videogame buffaims for a career in IT, so when he has to go to hospital, he will still be able to work remotely.

His mother, Tracey Rondel, said James' condition is not as bad as some children of his age - he has only had to go to hospital twice for two weeks at a time in the past six months.

Make-A-Wish New Zealand did not usually publicise their wish stories, but the Rondel family were keen to share the story to help raise awareness for the charity, she said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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