For the majority of my life, I have had the same hero – my favorite actor. Anyone who really knows me, will immediately think of me when they see my favorite actor in a film. He not only brings so much happiness to my life, but he has inspired me to act (I dream of acting with him one day), and to be the best person I can be.
When I was 16, I was diagnosed with leukemia. When I was told I qualified for a Make-A-Wish, I did not need to think about what my one true Wish was – I wished to meet my hero.
I waited with bated breath for four years for my hero to be available. Then my family came to visit me at school, and broke the most amazing news to me. They had just received a call from Make-A-Wish. We were leaving in 48 hours to go to London to meet my hero!!! Never had I ever been so excited before. That feeling that your dream is actually coming true is indescribable (and a much welcomed experience to have something going exactly my way for a change).
We would meet my hero at Pinewood Studios just outside of London. Make-A-Wish flew my family there and took care of everything. I could not have asked for anything more, or say enough good things about the experience! On Monday, Sept. 19, 2011 (International Talk Like a Pirate Day), I met the man of my dreams. The only words I can think of to describe it are perfect, unforgettable and magical.
There were a few wish kids from all over the world. We met at the studios, where my hero was in the middle of filming his current project! I cannot begin to tell you how amazing this was for me! Since I want to be in movies, being there during production was perfect and an unexpected surprise!
The children were sat around a large table, and then what I had been waiting for most of my life happened. In walked my hero. My heart stopped. My hero was a few yards away from me, in the same room as me. And I was not crying or fainting, so all was going well! He sat down at the table. I was staring into his eyes (which is how I first fell for him). It didn’t actually hit me that this was happening until I realized he was looking right back at me. He gave each child individualized attention. I had the chance to tell him all that he has meant to me. He was so humble and grateful. To hear him say my name and for him to hug me … my life feels complete!
My family spent the next few days exploring London, which I instantly fell in love with. As a result, I returned to London the following summer to study theater and made some international friends; an experience I never would have done without the exposure my wish provided me with. My wish was perfect, and allowed my family time to be together and to heal.
The happiness of my wish does not end there; I think about meeting my hero every day, and hold my memories close. In attempt to pay it forward, I became a wish granter this year. I do whatever I can to help: from counting letters to Santa, to singing in a benefit concert, to manning the Make-A-Wish table to give out information at events. I have granted two wishes so far; one went abroad to meet extended family, and the other went to WWE® SummerSlam. I currently have another four children whose wishes are in progress. It is an incredibly rewarding experience to help kids in similar situations as me, to get their one true wish.
I work as a high school chemistry teacher (how I wound up here is another story). But because of my hero, I have a passion for acting. I have been in over twenty theatrical performances, and as an extra in a few films (which earned me my own IMDb page, which I am excited about). It is my dream to one day work with my favorite actor in a movie. I could learn so much from him; that would be the ultimate everything.
I can never thank Make-A-Wish for my wish; I am just grateful that I can give back to other families.
Wishes can become a turning point in the lives of the kids we serve. In Katie's case, her wish inspired her to become a volunteer. Maybe your time and talents can make the world better for wish kids. You can start your journey to joining us by finding out how you can contact Make-A-Wish representatives in your community!