Hair-raising stunts on dirt bikes, BMXs and skateboards were the highlight of a power-packed weekend for Raglan teen Cameron Frew and his family recently when they scored tickets to Nitro Circus across the Tasman, courtesy of New Zealand’s Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Seeing the action sports touring circus for himself was 15-year-old Cameron’s “clear request”, says his father Stephen, when given the opportunity while at Starship last year to make a wish after undergoing a reasonably severe back operation.

Stephen was not surprised by Cameron’s choice. “In our home they (the Nitro Circus crew) are gods,” he told the Chronicle.
With a garageful of trailbikes on their Maungatawhiri Road property, the Frews are fans of the sport at the best of times — but as for a live show dedicated to “doing stupid stuff on motorbikes”, they were absolutely enthralled.

“Some (of the riders) are just nutcases,” reckons Stephen, having now seen for himself the death-defying backflips on 120kg machines that make the extreme action-packed show so incredible.

Cameron — a former Raglan Area School student now completing year 11 at Nga Taiatea Wharekura in Hamilton — was amazed at the feats, says his father.

While the Frews were lucky enough to be among 20,000 spectators at Nitro Circus in Sydney’s Olympic Park, the family were also treated by the Make-A-Wish Foundation to three-star accommodation in the CBD complete with private spa pool for Cameron’s back pain, and to some of the city’s top tourist attractions including the Manly Ferry and the “awesome” aquarium in Darling Harbour.

And the flight crew with Air New Zealand — major sponsors of the Make-A-Wish charity — made a huge fuss of Cameron, who also got to visit the plane’s cockpit during the trip.

Make-A-Wish New Zealand prides itself on being the only children and young person’s charity in the country which focuses solely on granting wishes to those with life-threatening medical conditions.

Cameron’s wish was one of 78 wishes delivered since 2005 in the wider Waikato alone.

“Wishes bring magic, joy and hope to these children and their families, as well as unforgettable experiences,” communications manager Kerry McLeod told the Chronicle last week.

The foundation would grant more than 200 wishes this year, she added.
Meantime Cameron’s cautiously been building up fitness on the Frew’s own farm bikes since his operation, says Stephen, but will leave the stunts to the pros he was fortunate enough to see in action, thanks to a wish come true.

Edith Symes