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How A Case Worker Changed Avery’s Recovery

Snowball fight, anyone?<br /><em>Julie Richards Photography</em> Julie Richards Photography

“ Avery’s wish began with a hospital case worker’s suggestion. ”

Avery wakens in a hospital room. Her surgery is finished – doctors started her road to recovery by removing a half-pound tumor. Just two days before the surgery, she was diagnosed with Wilms tumor, a cancer that starts in the kidneys.

As Avery recovers, a hospital case worker approaches the family. Case workers like this one help kids like Avery and their families face the emotional trauma of living with or overcoming serious illnesses. They’re becoming more and more integrated into treating patients of all ages. The case worker has an idea for lifting Avery’s spirits to help her face her medical treatments. The case worker suggests referring Avery for a Make-A-Wish experience. 

A Change in the Making

The case worker’s suggestion started a chain reaction that gave Avery and her family something she could look forward to … not another round of chemotherapy, not another checkup.

Even her first meeting with wish granters was a cause for celebration. They posed the famous Make-A-Wish question to Avery – “If you could have one wish, what would it be?”

To the surprise of many people who live in snowy climates, Avery wished to see snow and build a snowman. That’s something she doesn’t get to do in Florida.

Make-A-Wish volunteers planned an incredible trip to Vermont so Avery could enjoy all the best aspects of winter – building a snowman, riding in a sleigh, hurling snowballs and capping it all off with hot chocolate.

The Community Comes Together

Make-A-Wish supporters in Avery’s community worked together to get her wish started. They made her wish part of the Macy’s National Believe Day in 2014. The Macy’s staff at Oaks Mall in Gainesville, Fla., welcomed her family with cheering employees clad in Santa hats. From there, they took her on a shopping spree to outfit her for her wish.

After selecting winter clothes and having lunch, Avery was ready for her visit to Vermont.

Looking Back

Today, Avery and her family can all enjoy the memories of their time in the snow. And even better, they can celebrate the end of six months of chemotherapy and a long period of remission.

“Avery’s amazement at the snow was priceless and the memories we were able to create were phenomenal,” said her mother, Shelby. “We cannot thank you enough!”

Find out more about how medical professionals – from hospital case workers to doctors to nurses – are so important to providing the caring benefits of Make-A-Wish experiences.  

  • Avery feels the chill in Vermont.
    Julie Richards Photography

  • Snowball fight, anyone?
    Julie Richards Photography

  • Avery and her dad work on a snowman together.
    Julie Richards Photography

  • Getting closer to the perfect snowman.
    Julie Richards Photography

  • Avery and family have finished her first-ever snowman.
    Julie Richards Photography

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June 25, 2012 - 11:25 AM

June 25, 2012 - 11:25 AM

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