Palliative Care Queensland

Recognising a Driving Force of Ambulance Wish Queensland

Ambulance Wish Queensland has been delivering wishes for Queenslanders approaching their end of life for almost two years. We are genuinely proud of the forever memories we have created for recipients, their loved ones and friends.

This week, however, we decided to create a forever memory for Anne-Marie Dykstra, a community member from the Gold Coast and inspiration behind the Ambulance Wish Queensland program. Originally from the Netherlands, Anne-Marie heard about Stichting Ambulance Wens on social media. Inspired by its compassion, care and joy the program brings to patients in her homeland, she believed that Queenslanders could benefit from having their last wishes granted.

Connecting with Palliative Care Queensland CEO Shyla Mills over a coffee, Anne-Marie outlined the concept and the seeds of Ambulance Wish Queensland were sown. From that meeting, Anne-Marie became a champion and advocate of the program, joining Ambulance Wish Queensland’s steering committee, attending our first wish with Betty, and attending the first International Ambulance Wish Conference part of Palliative Care Queensland’s delegation.

“Anne-Marie played an important role in the establishment of Ambulance Wish Queensland and, through her passion, acted as an inspirational driving force for a program that has grown from strength to strength.  Anne-Marie has directly helped Ambulance Wish Queensland create a program that has delivered amazing wishes for wonderful people and their families. Ambulance Wish Queensland is delighted to recognise Anne-Marie as a leader, champion and embodiment of the community of care that is as the heart of our sector.”

Anne-Marie continues to act as an advocate and fundraiser in support of Ambulance Wish Queensland, focussing on increasing our donations and community supporters to enable us to fulfil more wishes. To commemorate and recognise all that Anne-Marie does to support the program, Ambulance Wish Queensland has named a car in her honour, a car that will be an essential element in our ability to deliver wishes.

To create a forever memory, Shyla headed to the Gold Coast, surprising Anne-Marie with a visit from her namesake, a small gesture intended to recognise her ongoing support for Ambulance Wish Queensland.

“I am not comfortable in the spotlight, but I am thankful for the touching gesture from Ambulance Wish Queensland. It is very humbling, and I look forward to continuing to support the program and seeing the impact my namesake will have on the ability to deliver wishes and create forever memories for even more Queenslanders,” said Anne-Marie.

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