Rustington little girl’s humbling final wish inspires Make-A-Wish campaign

Kelsey Meldrum with her collection of Ring Pop Puppy toys
Kelsey Meldrum with her collection of Ring Pop Puppy toys

Given the chance to wish for whatever you wanted, you would be forgiven for making some outrageous demands.

But when six-year-old Kelsey Meldrum was offered just that by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, her remarkably modest, humble request inspired a fundraising campaign in her honour.

Kelsey Meldrum with her father, Billy SUS-190407-112118001

Kelsey Meldrum with her father, Billy SUS-190407-112118001

Kelsey, from Rustington, tragically passed away in August 2018 after suffering from a rare form of childhood cancer.

While receiving treatment in hospital, she was approached by the Make-A-Wish Foundation – a charity that grants life-changing wishes to children with critical illnesses – and asked only for a small plastic toy to complete her collection.

Her wishgranter, Vicky, was tasked with finding a gold Ring Pop Puppy toy called Goldie, a small dog figurine contained inside a ring.

The toys come in random, sealed packs, and with doctors fearing Kelsey may only have 24 hours left to live, Vicky was faced with a race against time to find one.

Kelsey Meldrum SUS-190407-112058001

Kelsey Meldrum SUS-190407-112058001

Thankfully, after frantically contacting the manaufacturer and online sellers, she found one. Kelsey was said to be ‘over the moon’ when it arrived, never letting it leave her hand, and her family said it made ‘the world of difference’.

Kelsey’s dad, Billy, said: “Kelsey loved collecting things – snails, toys, My Little Pony and these little Ring Pop Puppy toys. I loved buying them for her and the only one missing from her collection was the rare gold one, called Goldie. She had two tables over her hospital bed so she could set up all her toys and no one could touch them, not even the cleaner. 

“As I sat at her bedside, Kelsey was in and out of consciousness. When Goldie arrived, that was the last time she came round and was herself. The grin on her face was unbelievable! She only came round for 20 or 30 minutes, but during that time, she was over the moon. Goldie completed her collection. It’s such a tiny thing but, for a kid, it makes the world of difference. Kids just want to keep going and Kelsey did too. 

“I just want people to take something from Kelsey’s story. If you can help people that are in a bad situation, help them. Goldie was a tiny plastic toy but to Kelsey it meant the world. Make the most of what you’ve got, because it’s the little things that matter most.” 

Kelsey Meldrum SUS-190407-112108001

Kelsey Meldrum SUS-190407-112108001

In honour of Kelsey, Make-A-Wish and Kelsey’s family are asking people to donate £2, the cost of a toy like Goldie, to help them provide more special moments for children like Kelsey.

You can donate £2 to Kelsey’s fundraising campaign by texting her name ‘KELSEY’ to 70085. This costs £2 plus your standard rate message. Alternatively, you can opt to give any whole amount up to £20.