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Saskia was 13 years old when she had her wish to go to the Galapogos Islands to see animals in their natural habitat come true. It was a difficult time in her life, when she needed an emotional lift. A year before being diagnosed with Lupus, Saskia's father had passed away. At the same time, Saskia's identical twin sister, who was not sick, continued to grow, when Saskia's body did not. Her energy was all spent just trying to stay healthy. That was a tough reality for a young teen.
"As a family, all of us had lost our innocence about thinking that bad things couldn't happen to us," said Saskia's mom, Tasha, "because we knew they could".
"The magic of the wish was not just that it gave Saskia hope, which it did--it finally gave Saskia hope that good things could happen, even to her--more than that, it gave our whole family hope."
Saskia's mother characterized her daughter as someone who is relentlessly curious, a lover of the outdoors, and someone who values logic. The Galapagos was the perfect place for her.
After her wish and years later, Saskia's health continued to improve, and she eventually enrolled at the Universty of British Columbia (UBC) to study international economics. She ran an ultra marathon across the Kalahari Desert in Botswana in support of water rights.
Fast forward to June 2017, and Wish Kid Saskia is a UBC graduate, rated as Top Academic in the Bachelor of International Economics program, President of the Vancouver School of Economics Undergraduate Society, and was chosen to be the graduation speaker at her recent commencement ceremony (pictured here).
High achievement and accolades have followed Saskia throughout her academic career. in high school, she was an active participant in the Vancouver model United Nations, for which she was a scholarship winner as well. From 2012 to 2016, she spent time both as a youth ambassador and curriculum advisor for Impossible2Possible, an organization that encourages youth to reach beyond their perceived limits by using adventure as a medium to educate, inspire and empower them. This is but a small glimpse at Saskia's determination and intelligence that has shaped her course.
Soon, Saskia is moving to Toronto to work with Deloitte, one of the world's leading professional services firms, as a consultant. Congratulations, Saskia, on continuing to make your wishes in life come true!