The post was about the joy in working at Make-A-Wish, and the occasional sad days … like when wish kid Erik, Seattle’s super hero, passed away.
I agree that working at Make-A-Wish is a great joy, and Erik’s story of his wish to be a superhero ‘to be strong and help others,’ has a lot to do with that. Every day that I walk through the doors of the Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington office in Seattle, I pass a large article about Erik’s wish mounted on the office wall. Erik’s story is on proud display at the entrance of our office because, although we all mourn Erik’s passing, we are also inspired by the joy he brought to life.
Honoring Erik’s Wish – Seattle and Beyond
Since Erik’s wish, countless professionals who were touched by Erik’s story have volunteered their time and talent to our chapter. His story has also directly impacted other wish kids. Both a secret agent wish here in Seattle and a pop star wish in Nebraska were possible because kids heard about Erik and his larger-than-life wish in the news. Most recently, more than 1,000 participants attended our Walk For Wishes to honor Erik and all the heroes, big and small, in our community. It’s been about three years since Erik became Electron Boy and saved Seattle from impending darkness, and the impact of his wish story multiplies with each year.
Erik’s dad, Jeremy (below with his wife, Judy), spoke at our Wish Night Gala and Auction before Erik passed. He explained that what seems to resonate about Erik’s wish with so many is the universal belief in a hero’s journey.
“We can all look at our own problems and feel the world is falling apart,” he said. “But, when you see a very sick child whose imagination allows him to overcome so many trials and tribulations, it somehow puts life into perspective. It’s obvious you are witnessing something special and makes you believe that you can also be a hero. Life isn’t so bad after all. It can be a gift and each day is a gift for Erik.”
Electron Boy Still Lights the Way
Electron Boy’s official superpower was his ability ‘to bring light to dark places.’ In reality, Erik reminded us that we all, as humans, have this ability, and that in itself is a gift. Every morning I walk through the doors of Make-A-Wish, I am reminded of Erik’s legacy. Thanks to Erik, I know we all have the power to be heroes. And if you’re lucky, like me, you get to use that power in your work every day. Because by bringing light and hope to kids during a dark time in their lives we end up bringing joy into our own lives as well.
Photo of Jeremy and Judy courtesy of Brian David Casey.