Santa's heart stolen by girl suffering brain tumour
A YOUNG Bundaberg girl was able to bring Santa to tears, not because she was on the naughty list, but because his random act of kindness made her day.
Little did the jolly red man realise his simple act was giving a sick little girl a Christmas miracle.
And there's a story behind Maddison Pashley's brave smile - the nine year old was diagnosed with a brain tumour four months ago.
But Santa didn't know when he chose her to hitch a ride on the back of a mechanical dinosaur at Sugarland Shoppingtown on Saturday.
"It was just fate as it happened and I just picked this little lady at random," Santa said.
"I asked her if I could go for a ride and her face just lit up."
Santa's helpers were amazed by Maddison's excitement as she saw people videoing the ride and she yelled "look mum, I'm going to go viral".
Maddison's mother Lisa Denham said the timing was just right as they were about to go back to Brisbane for medical treatment.
"We were only there picking up last minute things and because Maddison gets tired, that I said she could go on the ride," Lisa said.
The mother-of-two said the youngster was always positive and up-front about her cancer and told Santa about it after the ride.
"I didn't think much of it when Santa hopped on and people were taking photos," Lisa said.
"Then she said to Santa 'I just want my cancer to go away' and I think we all realised that he had made her day."
Santa told the NewsMail, with tears in his eyes, he returned to the shopping centre for the past 12 Christmases and it was the sound of the children's laughter which kept him going back.
"I looked at mum and she had tears in her eyes so I gave her a cuddle," Santa said.
"The little girl just took everything in her stride, she was a brave little girl."
Maddison and her family are now in Brisbane undergoing more tests to see if the chemotherapy was starting to work and reduce the size of the brain tumour.
Lisa said they had all their fingers crossed and hoped to return home to Bundaberg with more good news for Christmas.
And little Maddison's wish of going viral may just come true.