I wish to be a penguin expert

Darren reaches out to pet a penguin

At just 3 years old, Darren was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumor, a rare form of kidney cancer. He subsequently endured extensive treatments, including surgery and chemotherapy, before finally being in remission.

At 7 years old, Darren’s wish came true when he and his family were taken to Singapore Zoo to meet the penguins! Darren dressed up as an explorer, complete with a ranger’s hat and binoculars, and set off on a VIP tour guided by experts. In a fun-filled educational day, Darren and his family had the opportunity to meet & greet the African penguins, feed the giraffes, and complete various activities.


During the visit, Darren took inspiration from the animals he saw, sketching them down as he watched them. Darren loves to draw and over the following months Darren developed characters and a storyline based on the penguins in his sketchbook. A few months later, Darren completed his book in time to celebrate his achievement on his birthday! We hope the memories of his wish live on in Darren’s book, and in his mind for years to come.

Wishes like this can bring hope without limits to children like Darren. But we still need your help to keep granting them. Please donate today.

Darren with binoculars behind a penguin

Niamh Ryan

Niamh Ryan

Niamh Ryan is Senior Manager, PR and Communications at Make-A-Wish International, having joined the organisation in 2022 after 5 years at Make-A-Wish Ireland. Niamh oversees the organisation’s internal and external communications and looks after media relations and media strategy. With a background in digital marketing, she is passionate about employing the latest technology and trends to help more people learn about the life-changing power of a wish-come-true!