Dennis is 18, he lives in Kent, and was born with severe cerebral palsy and scoliosis.
In September 2017 his wish for DJ decks was granted and after a very tough start in life, Dennis’ wish gave him the opportunity to follow his dreams to become a radio DJ.
His wish has since inspired our rave-themed cheer station at next year's London Landmarks Half Marathon.
We spoke to Dennis and his dad Andrew in 2018 about how life has changed since his wish.
“Dennis was born 26 weeks early. He weighed no more than a pound of sugar. He was born inside the placenta which caused the early birth, and I honestly thought I was going to lose him then. They stuck tubes in him as soon as he was born and gave him oxygen to help his breathing.
"The doctors scanned his brain and diagnosed cerebral palsy. He had to be in an incubator for four months, but I never left his bedside.
"His mum and I had to scrub up and wear masks and gowns just to be in the room with him. When I look back at the pictures from that time I don’t think I could ever go through it again – it was such a traumatic and draining time.
“I couldn’t hold my son until he weighed eight pounds, I could only put my hand in the incubator and he would reach out his tiny hand to hold my little finger. Dennis could have fared a lot worse, so we’re fortunate really.
"Now that he’s older, he has near perfect movement in his upper body, and although he has a little movement in his lower half, he isn’t able to walk so relies on a wheelchair.
“Dennis is a chatterbox, he’s a curious, bubbly and excitable kid who enjoys music and enjoys life. Being in a wheelchair doesn’t faze him or hold him back in the slightest. Dennis is in sixth form currently and is going to college in September to study IT and media. He wants to go into radio presenting, hence his wish!”
Wish child Dennis adds;
“My physiotherapist referred me for a wish. I wanted to choose something long-lasting, that I could enjoy into the future, so I wished for DJ decks! Music is always playing in my house – when it isn’t, I make my own music! I love to chat too so DJ’ing and being on the radio really appeals to me.
"Owning my own DJ decks seemed like a good step towards making that a reality. When the day of my wish arrived, a limousine turned up at my house and took me, my dad and sister to Kent DJ Academy. They presented the decks to me and showed me how to use them, which was so exciting.
"Afterwards, we went out for a celebratory dinner and the limo took us back home where all my neighbours and family crowded round the limo – I felt like I was famous!
“Now I’ve had my DJ decks for six months, and I have learned to do so much with them. My friend also DJ’s and has taught me lots of tricks. Since I got the equipment, I help out at lots of charity events and I do paid gigs. It has really helped me to improve my skills and confidence, and it makes me happy.”
Dad Andrew continues;
“The DJ equipment has helped Dennis in a lot of ways. After a challenging start in life, it’s helped him to establish himself as a young man with passion, skill and enterprise.
"He will talk to anyone now, his confidence has grown, and he is even doing work experience at our local station, Radio Sunlight. He speaks on the radio there and DJs at his school. This all started since he got his DJ decks from Make-A-Wish.
“Dennis has changed my life, but I wouldn’t change anything about him. I am his full time carer and he will always be the focus of my attention. I’m proud of him for everything, but especially proud that he has achieved so much already. Dennis is one-of-a-kind.”
To find out more about the London Landmarks Half Marathon 2019 event and secure your place on our #WishHero team, click here.