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Isaac Wishes to Make Other Kids Happy

Isaac wished to have a workbench to make toys for other kids PHOTO: Henry Alva

“ He told us … that he would like to give other kids toys, too. ”


- Matt, Isaac’s dad

During visits to the hospital, Isaac noticed how sad many of the other kids were. He saw them crying and wondered how he could help bring happiness back into their lives. When he was referred for a wish, Isaac decided that he wanted to have a workbench to build toys for the children he knew were undergoing difficult treatments at the hospital.

Now, Isaac’s health is looking up, but at just four years old he has already had to live through the effects of a brain tumor. He knows better than anyone how much a toy or a good book can make a difference.

One Diagnosis Changed Everything

When Isaac was just on the verge of turning three, his parents began to notice problems with his fine and gross motor skills.

Katie, Isaac’s mom, witnessed the rapid deterioration of his health. “We went into the hospital with a kiddo who was a bit off balance and wanted to hold our hand to run,” she said. “We left, three weeks later, with a kiddo who was barely walking, had trouble sitting up, and needed to be on a 24-hour watch to be safe.”

While dealing with his own treatment, Isaac began to recognize the unhappiness of the children at the hospital.

Isaac’s dad, Matt, said, “He regularly asked us why the kids were crying, and we told him that the process (accessing the port) is painful and scary for them, just like it is for him. He told us that having books and toys made him feel better, and that he would like to give the other kids toys, too.”

This became the inspiration for Isaac’s wish. He decided that he would like to have a workbench designed for creating toys to give to the other children. With the workbench, Isaac could use his wish to help others while also taking advantage of his love for building.

Turning Points and Ripple Effects

To create Isaac’s ideal workbench, Make-A-Wish volunteers contacted Cameron, the founder of Seattle based product development firm, Product Creation Studio. Cameron’s industrial design and engineering team began the process of turning Isaac’s idea into a tangible creation and involved him in choosing design prototypes and models. Cameron made videos documenting the brainstorming, fabrication, and assembly processes for Isaac to view and even brought in a graphic design team to create a custom logo for the bench.

Katie found that the experience of working with Cameron on the wish became a turning point in Isaac’s recovery.

She said, “My favorite part is when we visited Cameron’s company, they provided pizza. We were still working on Isaac eating things at that point, and though we’d tried pizza repeatedly at home, he hadn’t started eating it. Competing to eat with Cameron, though, Isaac ate and finished two pieces of pizza! It makes me cry to think about it. Just one of those moments when you realize how such a little thing (taking a bite of pizza) can mean so much more.”

The final workbench was revealed during a Macy’s Believe Campaign event that celebrated Isaac’s first foray into toy building. Isaac created toys for Seattle Children’s Hospital utilizing the multiple storage areas and removable pieces that Cameron and his team had manufactured.

Matt remembers the ripple effect of Isaac’s wish. He said, “I am excited to look forward to our children growing up with a spot in the house that is purely dedicated to investing time and talent to make someone else’s life just a little bit happier.”

  • A custom graphic design logo for Isaac’s workbench
    PHOTO: Henry Alva

  • Elves help Isaac build toys for the children
    PHOTO: Henry Alva

  • Thankful for the chance to bring happiness to others
    PHOTO: Henry Alva

  • Isaac detaches the removable parts of his workbench
    PHOTO: Henry Alva

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June 25, 2012 - 11:25 AM

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