Backyards are lands to explore imaginative possibilities. Gavino loves to run around his backyard every change he gets. But leukemia soon halted his adventures.
A strange rash discovered on a family day at the beach led to a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and chemotherapy treatments.
A visit with Make-A-Wish® volunteers, Gavino decided he wanted a play set at home. A place to have fun and be a kid again – away from the adult worries of his life-threatening medical condition.
Volunteers, UnitedHealthcare and others join in a day-long effort to erect his new backyard oasis. Complete with a tube slide, climbing wall, swings, rope climbs, a telescope and rope pulley with a bucket in blue (his favorite color), the play structure is ready to keep Gavino busy all day.
Everyone gathers for the official unveiling of the play set, decorated with several blue ribbons, and a pizza party. With a yard full of people watching, Gavino is hesitant to try out his new hangout.
But it doesn’t take long before he’s climbing up and down the ropes and barreling down the slide with his father. The overjoyed grin on both their faces is evidence of the healing power of a wish experience.
Volunteers said that once he started playing, Gavino didn’t stop, grinning as he dumped gravel in and out the bucket and raced down the slide time after time. Gavino finds out wishes can come true, even in your own backyard.
The UnitedHealth Group Wishes program has been established to enable the company to grant wishes like Gavino’s through the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s chapters in the United States, Guam and Puerto Rico. UnitedHealth Group is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to making health care work better. Through its family of businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves approximately 70 million individuals nationwide.