Albany Advertiser sports reporter Taj Stubber a cancer survivor and Make-A-Wish pioneer

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Albany Advertiser sports reporter Taj Stubber was the first child in Albany to be granted a “wish” through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Camera IconAlbany Advertiser sports reporter Taj Stubber was the first child in Albany to be granted a “wish” through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Credit: Laurie Benson/ Albany Advertiser

Albany Advertiser sports journalist Taj Stubber has treasured memories of a trip of a lifetime to the sunny Gold Coast with his family in 2009.

By then, the Borden boy had endured three years of intensive treatment after he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at the age of four.

The joys of a country childhood playing football on the farm with his brothers had been swapped for bouts of chemotherapy, surgery and hospital stays in Perth.

“I remember a lot of trips to hospital, a lot of nights spent in hospital, a lot of nights where Mum was sitting next to me sleeping in the chair,” Stubber said yesterday.

Taj with Kyarma at Seaworld.
Camera IconTaj with Kyarma at Seaworld. Credit: Supplied

His family holiday to the Gold Coast was the first “wish” granted in the Albany region by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“It was a big relief to have a break away from everything that was going on, and spend some quality time with my family,” he said.

Now 19, Stubber is a hardworking journalist with a big future in front of him.

With his next annual check-up scheduled for October, he said the experiences of his childhood had strengthened him.

“It has definitely made me a stronger person, knowing I was able to come through that and put up with every challenge that was thrown at me,” he said.

“I am just really grateful for all the help that I got, and Mum and Dad were a massive support.”

Stubber underwent three years of cancer treatments after he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at the age of four.
Camera IconStubber underwent three years of cancer treatments after he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at the age of four. Credit: Supplied

Seventeen children from the Albany region have had their wishes granted, but more than 800 children nationwide are on a waiting list because of COVID-19.

Albany Make-A-Wish volunteers have been doing their part, raising more than $3000 in collaboration with the Albany Light Opera and Theatre Company’s Seussical the Musical.

“I’m very grateful and thank Make-A Wish and all their volunteers, especially in Albany,” Stubber said.

“It means so much to see the wishes of other kids’ coming true too – the smiles on their faces, it’s absolutely fantastic.”

To volunteer with the organisation, visit bit.ly/3mpK5Nw.

Albany Advertiser sports reporter Taj Stubber.
Camera IconAlbany Advertiser sports reporter Taj Stubber. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

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