Jeremiah beams as the parade arrives. He sees fire trucks, motorcycles, friends and family … even Santa himself! An old-fashioned fire truck follows, overflowing with presents for the entire family. Volunteers string lights and unload gifts – inside and out, the house comes alive.
Today is a turning point. It marks the end of months in the hospital and the loss of Jeremiah’s right eye. And it brings his community together. People who heard about his wish pitched in with donated goods and volunteer time to give Jeremiah an experience that could change his life. Before the wish, associates at the local Home Depot met Make-A-Wish® volunteers shopping at their store for Jeremiah. They donated lights, an artificial Christmas tree and other decorations. And the community’s participation grew from there.
From firefighters to motorcycle club riders, people who have never met Jeremiah give their time to make his wish come true. His wish for Christmas lights grows into an event that unites his community.
“He hadn’t had a chance to celebrate anything this year – his birthday, Easter – because he was in the hospital,” Jeremiah’s mom, Ida says.
It’s a perfect start to the holiday season. Even better, the cancer is in remission. And, for now, the long chemotherapy treatments are over.
Jeremiah’s visitors leave his house decorated inside and out. They also leave his family feeling connected to the community like never before.