As she walked down the red carpet, Kassaundra, who was diagnosed with a heart condition, flashed a smile towards the fans chanting her name and cheering as their camera lenses snapped her photo. The 7-year-old, who was being carefully shuffled through the crowd of her adoring fans, paused to sign a few autographs and accept a bouquet of roses. Things had certainly changed since her wish to be a famous singer was granted. Dressed in a fancy new dress with her hair and makeup done, she sat behind a table surrounded by her family, answering questions from journalists and fans attending the release of her music video for her brand new song, “Butterfly Don’t Fly Away.” Her whirlwind day of stardom concluded with a few more autographs before she dashed back to her limousine. After this day it’s certain that she won’t give up singing, but will continue on with her passion in hopes of making it to the big leagues one day.
After being diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, 16-year-old Naro, a high school sophomore, began spending a lot of time in the hospital. The clinical sounds of the hospitals often left Naro feeling isolated and bored. To cope with the stress and pain of treatment, he turned to music, composing songs in his mind to drown out the coldness of the hospital. Although he already played the flute, Naro added saxophone, clarinet and the oboe to his musical repertoire. He even taught himself to play piano. With music encompassing a large part of his life, he didn’t have to think too hard when deciding what to wish for. Wanting to replace his old Jupiter student oboe, Naro wished to have a custom professional-series Yamaha oboe. At his local music store, his wish was granted. Immediately he assembled the challenging instrument and began to play his solo for his upcoming band concert. A smile spread across his face as his fingers touched the instrument’s keys. “It’s his dream,” his father said, smiling behind him. Naro’s wish shows the lasting power a wish can have on a child’s life, as he plans to turn his musical talents into a career, with goals of studying music in college and becoming a professional musician post-graduation.
For her parents, the fact that Aydin is able to sing is a wish come true itself. When 7-year-old Aydin was born with WAGR syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, doctors told her parents that she would never be able to speak, yet alone sing. Now she stands on the stage of a local music venue, belting a new song and twirling along. Singing is a means of escape for Aydin, so after wishing to be a singer, Make-A-Wish pulled out all of the bells and whistles to ensure that she had the true pop-star experience. A makeover and photo shoot were just the beginning. Later, at a local music venue called The Wire, she would be surrounded by members of her community, begging for her autograph and picture while handing her flowers before she would be lead on stage to share a few words of thanks to her fans before performing. Seeing Aydin perform on stage gives her parents hope for their daughter’s future, and gives Aydin the experience of a lifetime that she’ll certainly never forget.