Delilah’s mom calls her daughter “my little mermaid girl,” so it is no surprise that her wish is to go SCUBA diving in St. Thomas. Delilah hopes the beauty of the deep blue ocean will calm her after the challenges she has faced living with a congenital cardiac condition. Plus, she is excited that her family of six will get to join her on the big trip.
The beach becomes their home for several days as they dive into their lessons. Steve, an instructor from the University of the Virgin Islands, takes part of the family into the water, including Delilah, and practices SCUBA and underwater meditation with them. His wife, Lucinda, takes the other part and introduces them to the basics of snorkeling.
Delilah’s mom believes that the wish has a healthy impact on her daughter. She recounts that after hearing the good news, “Delilah shifted her focus to a more positive future; she believes in herself more.” And beyond that, Delilah may have even found a new passion in the process. Now, she is seriously considering pursuing diving classes later in life!
Delilah may be a master of the sea, but Juliana wants to know everything she can about the world.
Luckily, Juliana’s wish granters know just the place where a fledgling scientist can go: Boston. Her first stop is MIT, where resident scientists simulate the movement of sand and water as well as lightning bolts right in front of Juliana’s eyes. They teach her how to mix different chemicals to form “goop,” a creation Juliana was highly interested in researching before her wish. They even pour dry ice over her head, the white clouds falling down her shoulders and settling around her feet.
Feeling confident after her time with the professors, Juliana is ready to tackle the rest of Boston as a young researcher. She visits the Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium where she studies a dinosaur skeleton and peers into the giant tanks, searching for creatures. She sticks her hand into one of the pools and pets an octopus named George. Before the trip is over, Juliana and her family go on a duck tour in a vehicle that can float in water and drive on land.
“The trip was perfect. It was something that really made an impression on Juliana – something that she will look back on,” her mom says. In a world of uncertainty brought on by her leukemia diagnosis, Juliana will now be able to find her own answers.
Just like Juliana, Max has an exploratory frame of mind.
But while Juliana explores science in the lab in Boston, Max wants to climb high out in the field, and Wilm’s tumor will not slow him down. His wish is to shadow a volcanologist. At 7 years old, it is an unconventional wish, but he is inspired by his babysitter who once brought him a baking-soda-and-vinegar volcano kit.
To fulfill his wish, Max and his family travel far away to Iceland where he descends into the mouth of a dormant volcano. He must don a helmet and harness for safety, and he is lowered in on a scaffold. Once inside, he gets to examine volcanic rocks while the experts teach him about the history they hold.
After all the excitement, Max goes to a nearby house for a reception party. There, everyone gets to meet the budding volcanologist and hear about his journey. Then, he and his family make sure to go on one final excursion before they leave Iceland: whale watching! Max spots Humpback and Minke whales with delight, the perfect end to his awesome adventure.
Six-year-old Ezra wants to reach still greater heights than Max.
Ezra’s fascination with space travel began in the hospital as he watched rocket documentaries while undergoing treatment for his genetic condition. Since that time, it has been his his dream to witness a rocket launch firsthand. The folks at the Kennedy Space Center decide to make this a reality, welcoming him onboard their crew with his very own bright orange astronaut suit.
Space center visitors ask to take photos with Ezra – he fits right in with the rest of the astronauts! He goes with his parents on tours, and Ezra’s mom says they get to look at “all the launch pads, the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), launch control, and all the rockets and space shuttles on display.” One of the astronauts even teaches Ezra how rockets work on the inside.
All of this is all very exciting, but what Ezra wants to see most is the rocket launch. He has to wait for three days due to weather complications. In the meantime, he takes his first trip to the beach, and it starts to look like the weather will never be quite right. But soon enough, the perfect day arrives. He and his mother and father stand on top of mission control and watch in awe as the giant ship blasts off. But is the launch worth the wait?
Ezra responds with an enthusiastic yes, saying “it was the best day of my life!”
Every day, wish kids like Delilah, Juliana, Max and Ezra are unlocking the secrets of our world. They have a curiosity and love for learning that surpass the challenges of living with life-threatening illness. Learn how you can help wish kids reach new heights here.