Today's post was one of the first Wish Nation posts. We decided to share it again because the featured photos are incredible glimpses into wishes as they happened ... and reminders of how wishes can transport wish kids from the challenges they face.
Looking at the many wish kid photos on wish.org can brighten my day instantly. There are so many great images, but these are five of my favorite photos of smiling wish kids.
Hannah’s wish is one of my favorites because it is so unique and personal to her. She wished to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, because music has touched her in a way that nothing else has. In this photo, you see her wish coming true: She is practicing with actual members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Her smile is infectious and powerful. You can see her warmth, her life and her energy, all brought to her through her wish.
Hugo is an adventurer. During treatment, he fought through treatment bravely, always rallied by the promise of a Make-A-Wish experience… a wildlife-watching safari in Africa. In Hugo’s smile you can see the true power of a wish experience. His entire trip was a celebration of family, life and wishes made real. He is beaming, bright, full of life. And you can see it all in his smile.
If you’re anything like me, then I doubt you can keep a smile from creeping onto your face when you see this photo of wish kid Cole enjoying his cowboy experience on the ranch. His smile is infectious; it warms my heart to see him realizing that his one true wish is coming true. During his wish, Cole spent five days riding the trails, roasting marshmallows and enjoying the carefree life. You can tell that he has taken these memories home with him and with cherish them forever.
“I wanted someone to laugh and play with,” says Noella about her choice of wish. Now Noella has a labradoodle puppy she named Hippo. It’s been two years since Noella’s wish came true, and you can see in her smile what her new friend means to her. Hippo is her best friend and even helped Noella feel better when she going through treatment. When I look at this picture, I see more than just a smile. I see joy shining from a little girl who has gone through so much. I see hope in her spirit that life will get better. Finally, I see the strength that sometimes only a wish can provide.
Jazzmen is radiant. One look at this photo and I’m reminded why we do what we do here at Make-A-Wish. The night of her royal Sweet-16 party, Jazzmen danced nonstop, laughed and smiled constantly because her wish was coming true. I see in Jazzmen’s smile pure strength. Jazzmen has gone through chemotherapy and treatment, but always thought of her upcoming wish whenever times were tough. That is beautiful to me, and her smile makes everything we do worth it.