When you think of the modern world, you probably think of how isolated people have become, trapped in their own bubble. This is a world full of noise and distraction. With all of its hustle and bustle, there are fewer and fewer things that bring people together. Wishes are one of those rare things that draw communities out of their shells and allow them to pull together for a common cause.
One such example was in 2007, when Sam wished for a backyard baseball field in Mantachie, Mississippi. Sam, 10, had spent the prior year battling against Stage 4 neuroblastoma, a form of cancer that made it impossible for him to play ball. Doctors gave him less than a 5 percent chance of survival. When Sam made his wish, the community jumped into action.
Building a baseball diamond, stands, and scoreboards from scratch, the Mantachie community converted a neighboring farm pasture into the great American pass-time. Over 370 volunteers, including the ground crews from the University of Mississippi and Itawamba Community College, all came together to him the wish he wanted. Local teams came and played at this field; and Sam was given a chance to play 3rd base. He was given motivation from the community and was inspired to fight through his cancer. After the wish was completed, Sam kept on fighting. The community, those donors and volunteers, made a wish come true and changed the world.
Earlier this year, on May 24th, Sam graduated as the valedictorian from Mantachie High School. During his speech, he spoke of his community: "Just because I am at the top I’m not looking down. It was because of all them that I was able to make it here today in the first place." Sam has become an agent of change, but he did not get there alone. When you think about the impact of granting a wish, remember that you are not just changing the path of one child. By helping grant a child's wish, you are being an agent of change in your community and throughout the world.