At the core of it, though, all wishes are meant to do one thing: help wish kids keep moving forward when faced with serious medical obstacles. It is this shared experience that makes the wish kid community so strong. This list is a compilation of wishes that kids of different ages have made; though the wishes vary, each has equal potential to positively and permanently change wish kids, their families and their communities.
The following list is a continuation of last week's blog post, which can be found here.
Sammy, 8, cancer, I wish to have my own LEGO bedroom (Arizona)
LEGO bricks have been the perfect creative escape for Sammy through the good times and the bad, so it was no wonder when he wished for a LEGO-themed room. Not only was it designed just for him (it even includes a custom loft bed modeled after the movie!), but it was also a switch from sharing a bedroom with his siblings to having a space all his own. Now, Sammy has the perfect room to have fun, relax and spend quality time with his four siblings.
Sammy: “I was so surprised and I’m so happy I will have this room forever!”
Carmen, Sammy’s mom: “Make-A-Wish Arizona gave my son a miracle. This room is a showcase of all the love and time it took to put the wish together and it exceeded anything I could have ever imagined.”
Kallie, 9, Hodgkin lymphoma, I wish to go to Hawaii (South Dakota)
Kallie has a large family – it’s her; her parents, Brenda and David; her brothers, Wylie and Cody; and her sisters, Shaylee and Shawnee. Combine that with treatments for Hodgkin lymphoma, and you can see how difficult it would be to take a family vacation. Through her wish, Kallie finally got the chance to surf, horseback ride and explore Hawaii that she always dreamed of. And the people she loves were right by her side.
Kallie (on right): “It was really good to be together and to be able to relax ... this was the best time I ever had and it made me so happy.”
Brenda and David, Kallie’s parents: “This meant so much to us for Kallie to be able to have this wish and to see her happy and carefree.”
Bradon, 10, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, I wish to go on a bug safari in the rainforest (Alaska and Washington)
If you asked Bradon about himself, he’d tell you that he’s been an avid bug hunter since age 3, even though his parents thought it was just “a phase.” Clearly, that’s not the case! Bradon is just as enthusiastic about bugs as ever, and for his wish, he got the chance to shadow Phil, a professional entomologist. He discovered all sorts of new insects that he had never seen before, and his wish opened doors for him into the field of entomology.
Bradon: “I’ve been dreaming about going to a rainforest since I was 3 years old. And it just makes me feel so happy that I’ve gone there when I’m only 10.”
Bradon’s dad: “For Make-A-Wish to listen to Bradon’s wish – as incredible as it is, as out-of-the-ordinary as it is – is really astounding. It speaks to the type of people that are involved.”
Jason, 11, leukemia, I wish to have a greenhouse (Central and Western North Carolina)
Jason’s leukemia came on suddenly: He went from feeling a little winded at sports practice to spending his days in the hospital. To help keep him moving forward, his mother referred him for a wish. Jason wished for a greenhouse that would protect the plants he loves to grow from being eaten by critters, and volunteers from Metrolina Greenhouse collaborated with Make-A-Wish to build it right in his backyard. At the grand unveiling, Jason was completely blown away, saying, “I had no idea that this was here!”
Jason: “I’m just so happy. It’s just great to have this many people that care about me and that love me. Every kid going through this should have a wish. It’s just helped so much, emotionally.”
Shelley, Jason’s mom: “The greenhouse would impact our family in a very positive way. It’s something that we can do together, and we can watch the plants grow and take care of them and plan a menu around it. And hopefully, one day, when Jason’s grown up, maybe he’ll bring his children back and look at that greenhouse, too.”
Anaiss, 12, neurological disorder, I wish to go to Athens, Greece (Greater Bay Area)
Anaiss has always pushed herself to overcome obstacles. Back in 2011, Anaiss was in a car accident that caused paralysis in her legs, but she regained feeling above her knee even though doctors told her it would be impossible. During her recovery, she also spent her time reading The Iliad and The Odyssey, which inspired her wish to visit Greece. Anaiss has now gotten one step closer to being a world traveler, which is her over-arching lifelong dream.
Anaiss: “I loved the architecture in Greece. The Acropolis was absolutely beautiful and the view was breathtaking. I also loved Delphi and the Knossos. The designs are fascinating.”
Karina, Anaiss’ mom: “She is excited that it doesn’t matter that she is in a wheelchair; she can do anything.”
Joey, 13, brain tumor, I wish to go on an archaeological dig (Alaska and Washington)
When Joey was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 10, he lost a lot of hope. His wish to go on an archaeological dig was the light at the end of the tunnel while he was going through surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. For his wish, Joey saw some fossils at the Museum of the Rockies in Montana. He then got to spend time at a dig learning from Dr. Horner, a famous archaeologist who has been consulted for some major motion pictures. Someday, he hopes to be an archaeologist or paleontologist, and his wish has only confirmed that future for him.
Joey: “I was really sick … it was a lot to handle. But later, in dreaming, I started to see the bright side about it.”
Ameen, Joey’s dad: “When we first got offered a wish, it was so hard because Joey was so sick. It didn’t really hit us how much it would impact our lives.”
Emily, Joey’s stepmom: “The recovery process was long and hard on all of us. But it finally feels like we’re back to a new normal.”
This blog post is Part 2 of an ongoing series that celebrates the uniqueness of each child in the larger wish kid community. See Part 1 here.