"Fur-Ever" Bond Formed Between
Wish Kid and Wish Granter
The transformative power of a wish is undeniable. A wish not only transforms the lives of children and their families, it has a lasting impact on wish granters: the people who make a wish possible.
Barbara, a volunteer with Make-A-Wish®, had the opportunity to witness this incredible power firsthand through her wish granting experience with a 15-year-old wish kid named Shanya.
Although Shanya suffers from a nervous system disorder and is nonverbal, she is an expressive teenager with the "most beautiful eyes," according to Barbara. From the moment she met Shanya during the wish discovery visit, Barbara sensed a special bond.
"I said, 'I'm going to start asking you some questions and if you like what I'm talking about, I want you to smile.' So, we started to build a rapport," Barbara said.
This instant connection turned out to be the key to unlocking Shanya's wish. Barbara began asking Shanya and her grandmother questions about what she likes and doesn't like. When the idea of a puppy came up, Shanya flashed a huge smile and threw her hands in the air in excitement. It became clear that having a cute Maltipoo puppy named Fluffy was Shanya's one true wish.
"I looked over at her grandmother. She said, 'I guess we're getting a puppy?' I was like, 'Yeah, you are!'" Barbara said.
On the day of Shanya’s wish, Barbara arrived early to set up the various goodies that were donated. Fluffy was welcomed with a royal treatment, complete with a new bed, blanket, bath supplies, treats, and, of course, plenty of fun new toys. To ensure she'd make an even fancier first impression on Shanya, Barbara generously bought Fluffy a pink "blinged-out name collar."
Barbara was brimming with excitement as she brought Fluffy over to Shanya for the big introduction. "I put her in her lap and she just smiled. Fluffy immediately burrowed her little head into Shanya's chest. I fought back the tears. They just instantly bonded. Shanya looked so happy."
After taking Fluffy back to her new "fur-ever" home, Shanya’s grandmother shared photos of Shanya and Fluffy cuddled in bed together and told Barbara that they were inseparable. Whenever she needs a hand, Shanya will now always have Fluffy's paw.
Barbara is one of nearly 40,000 volunteers for Make-A-Wish across the U.S., whose support opens the door to endless possibilities for kids like Shanya and their families. For someone with a philanthropic heart, Barbara says the feelings that result from being a wish granter are extraordinary.
"Being able to interact with these kids who are just looking for that one day they don't have to concentrate on being ill or going to the doctor or doing tests – it's just a part of my life that I will cherish for many, many years to come," said Barbara. "I volunteer with a lot of organizations. But Make-A-Wish really touches my heart."
But Make-A-Wish really touches my heart."