Super Hornet pilot Samuel Hockin presents Max with a framed Super Hornet print.
Super Hornet pilot Samuel Hockin presents Max with a framed Super Hornet print. CPL Brenton Kwaterski

Once in a lifetime experience for brave teenager

AIR Force personnel at Amberley have made a teenage boy's visit the most memorable day of his life.

Brain cancer sufferer Max Shearer, 13, and his family, attended a day out on the base as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Max was smiling from ear to ear when he posed for a photo in front of his favourite Air Force plane, an F/A-18F Super Hornet.

Max, an Air Force enthusiast, was so delighted with the day's activities that he personally wrote a thank you letter for "the experience of my life".

The following is an excerpt from Max's thank-you letter:

"Over the past few years, I have had a difficult time. When I was 10, I was diagnosed with a rare type of brain cancer called ganglioglioma, which manifests as multiple tumours inside my ventricle system. I had six brain tumours, and as a result, I have had lots of brain surgery, including a dual craniotomy to remove a large tumour and debunk another. I still have five tumours in my brain, which are currently not growing, and are monitored every four months by MRI.

"The journey began when Blu introduced me to the Super Hornet pilots. Buddha and Shocks showed me F/A-18F fighter jets up close, an experience which will stay with me for my entire life.

"Then, just when I thought things couldn't get any cooler, I was shown the Australian Super Hornet and Growler F/A-18F and EA-18G Simulator, otherwise known as the Sim. I was blown away as my brother Dan and I flew through Brisbane, shooting down planes and swooping under bridges.

"My visit at Amberley was the best experience of my life, and it wouldn't have been possible without Blu, No. 1 Squadron and the RAAF Base Amberley, as well as Make-A-Wish Australia.

To support Max's cause, visit


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