I was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in 1989, at the beginning of seventh grade. By spring of 1990, the cancer had progressed dramatically. While my prognosis wasn't terminal, my doctors were losing hope that more chemotherapy and radiation was going to be effective. When my doctor approached my parents and myself about Make-a-Wish, I pretty much knew what I wanted: a new piano. I didn't have that stamina to travel anywhere, and I wanted something I could keep forever.
In spite of what the doctors were saying, I wasn't going to let cancer defeat me. Over the past 24 years, I have practiced for many recitals on my Yamaha piano. I have taught piano lessons on it, and it has moved with me to a half-dozen new locations. I have soothed all three of my babies by holding them and playing its keys with one hand.
Thank you, Make-A-Wish, for the gift which has given me so much life.
(Photos: Top right, Shawna working to recover from lymphocytic leukemia. Bottom, Shawna's youngest daughter in front of the piano that made her wish come true.)