Teens tick items off their wish list at special charity event

Hamish and Austin Taylor at today's event. (Newshub)
Hamish and Austin Taylor at today's event. (Newshub)

Hamish and Austin Taylor are typical teenage brothers. They tease each other and enjoy an easy laugh.

Hamish is 19, the eldest and more extroverted of the two. He is a business student and a self-described "motor head". He wants to, one day, work with computers.

Austin is 17, still at school and he too dreams of a career involving computers.

The brothers have something else in common; they both have muscular dystrophy, a hereditary condition marked by progressive weakening and wasting of the muscles.

Their mum, Sharyn, is the carrier, her brother died from the condition in the 1970s, aged just 15. 

It's not known how much longer Hamish and Austin have, they could live until their late twenties, maybe longer.

"It is hard sometimes but we just get on with it and live life", Hamish told Newshub.

Today he and his brother were among 70 New Zealanders with life-threatening illnesses who experienced Race4Life.

Held at Hampton Downs, just south of Auckland, it was the opportunity for them to fulfil their wishes, including riding in a selection of vehicles (20 luxury cars, 10 race cars, 6 Morgans, 5 bikes, 5 trucks) and a helicopter - all donated by private owners and businesses. 

"It was amazing, I loved it", said Hamish.

"The highlight was the helicopter ride, Although racing in the car was pretty cool."

He reached speeds up to 200 kilometres an hour racing round the track.

"I'll never forget that."

The event was first held eight years ago, organised by Viv James to grant special wishes for palliative care patients around New Zealand.

"We are giving but really we are receiving too, just to see those smiles and hear that laughter, it's amazing", Viv James said.

Smiles. So many on show at Hampton Downs, perhaps the biggest belonging to Hamish and Austin. 

Race4Life recently formed a charitable trust to raise funds for events and to support the new Wish List Service.

Newshub.

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