With the Wünschewagen to the Heidelberg Zoo

Family father was once again with the children with lions and elephants

For Ricardo (name changed), this trip is not easy. The 41-year-old lives in the Sister Paterna hospice in Viernheim. Last summer, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Actually, it was the children who really wanted to go to the zoo again with their dad. He himself was skeptical at first, but was gladly persuaded by his wife. At the end of the day, he is happy to have experienced these wonderful hours with his family.

Our volunteers Margret and Lisa-Marie, both trained nursing professionals, pick up the family with the Wünschewagen in Viernheim and off they go towards Heidelberg.

Sunny hours among monkeys, lions and elephants

The excitement on arrival is great: the six-year-old daughter is eager to see the baby bear, the 11-year-old son wants to follow the large footprints that the Heideberg Zoo offers in a circular path. The children's enthusiasm infects everyone, and for the first time a smile flits across Ricardo's face. "For us, this trip is so important," says wife Diana (name changed). Just get out, experience something different, forget the difficult hours for a short time. The first stop is the coastal panorama, "but the seagulls scream loudly," says the little daughter, who then prefers to go straight to the elephants. After two hours, everyone gets hungry and goes to Fody's Zoo Café.

Cordial hospitality in the open air

Fire sausage, french fries, bockwurst with potato salad - the selection is convincing and everyone tastes really good. The landlord himself comes by and treats the whole team to dessert. Thus strengthened, we continue to the petting zoo. A real highlight, especially for the children. Petting and feeding the goats and sheep - the two find no end. Time passes incredibly quickly, and after four hours it's time to say goodbye to the zoo. Back at the hospice, Ricardo is presented with a photo album. The Wünschewagen team took the pictures during the day and printed them out on site. A reminder of special hours.

Wünschewagen - a nationwide project of the ASB

"Daring to make last wishes" - under this motto, the Wünschewagen of the ASB Mannheim/Rhein-Neckar region enables guests to visit places that are particularly important to them. There are now 23 Wünschewagen on the road throughout Germany to fulfill a special wish for seriously ill people in their final phase of life. The project was launched five years ago and is financed exclusively by donations. The trip is free of charge for the guest, and volunteers support the trips. The ASB-Wünschewagen are also on duty during the Corona crisis, under strict hygiene rules and in accordance with official requirements. The Wünschewagen in Mannheim has been rolling along the streets since September 2016, fulfilling last wishes of the heart. The coordinator of the project in Mannheim is Tina Schönleber. She can be reached at

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