Meet Sydney, an 8-year-old who is living with a rare neurodevelopmental disorder, STXBP1 encephalopathy. When it came to choosing her wish, Sydney wished to be a Zookeeper in Dublin Zoo. Sydney’s mum told us “The zoo is a calming place for Sydney." 

Zookeeper Sydney had a blast on her wish day, starting in the nearby Castleknock Hotel before travelling with her family to Dublin Zoo. Sydney and her sisters were full of animal facts, which they shared throughout the day, with zookeepers and any animals that would listen! Zookeeper Sydney loves elephants, and they were one of the animals she got to know a whole lot better on her wish day.

Going all around the zoo, Zookeeper Sydney helped to feed some animals and got to know lots of cool facts. You could feel her excitement all throughout the day, especially when she decided not to use her wheelchair and to explore the zoo on her own terms! We all loved seeing how much fun she had all day long.

Zookeeper Sydney and her sisters did their best animal calls and got to see lots of animals up close, including the big cats, who came right up to the fence. Even the new snow leopard came the closest to the glass the zookeepers had ever seen! Zookeeper Sydney had a way with animals, and it certainly seemed they all wanted to hang out with her. Who can blame them!

Thank you to all the staff and volunteers at the Castleknock Hotel & Dublin Zoo for such a fabulous wish day. Seeing the joy on Sydney’s face as she travelled around the zoo was truly inspiring. There is no limit to the life-changing effects of granting wishes like Sydney’s, to the wish child, to their families and to their communities.

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