Anthony's Wish Granted By Make-A-Wish New Jersey
March 5, 2020
Monroe Township - A local teen’s wish was granted by Make-A-Wish New Jersey, whose mission is to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. 17-year-old Anthony’s wish to go to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas with his family was granted this past fall, thanks to the 2019 Jersey Mike’s Subs “Month of Giving” Campaign, which raised over $458,000 for Make-A-Wish New Jersey last March. Jersey Mike’s Subs and Make-A-Wish New Jersey are partnering once again this year for the 2020 March “Month of Giving”, to raise funds to grant wishes for children with critical illnesses. The campaign kicked off March 1st.
Anthony, of Freehold New Jersey, has had to face many difficult challenges over the past year, battling a critical illness. When he was first diagnosed, Anthony and his family were in complete disbelief.
“It came as quite a shock at first,” Anthony shared. “All my life I’ve been a very healthy kid. But to me it was more of a bump in the road that I would have to battle through and keep a positive attitude towards all my treatments moving forward.”
“Anthony is calm, cool, strong and faith filled,” his parents Dante and Liana shared. “He is as tough as they come physically, mentally and spiritually. We think we have all increased our personal connection to Anthony in our own special way over the past year.”
“We have always been a pretty tight family, but for sure, his brother and sister has gotten even closer to him,” his father Dante continued. “Because of the flexibility I have with work, I have been able to be with him for every single appointment. I wish there had been other circumstances involved for us to develop this relationship, but certainly he and I have grown much closer.”
When Anthony’s social worker from Memorial Sloane Kettering referred him to Make-A-Wish, he was presented by his wish granting volunteers with the life-changing, powerful question other wish kids are asked: “If you could have one wish, what would it be?”
Anthony’s one true wish would be to travel to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas and spend time in a tropical paradise with his family.
“As a child it was a dream vacation of mine to go with my family to Atlantis,” Anthony shared. “We haven’t gone on a family vacation, that included us all in a while. For me it was more of a no-brainer decision to have the opportunity to take my family on a trip to Atlantis and have a great time.”
“With his siblings being older, it has been about six years since we all went on a trip together,” Anthony’s parents reflected. “It was a tremendous trip that we probably would not have been able to organize and provide at that moment in time.”
Anthony, his siblings and his parents spent their trip in paradise soaking in the sun, enjoying delicious meals at the resort restaurants, seeking thrills on the water slides, and relaxing together – an experience that seemed like a distant memory over the past year.
“The food was great everywhere we went, and I tried some new things,” Anthony reflected. “Swimming with the dolphins was an amazing experience. The water park was so much fun, and it didn't hurt that the weather was beautiful, it didn’t rain once!”
“For Anthony, the trip was a break!” his father Dante added. “Nothing to do or think about except vacation! It really was a genuine opportunity to step away from the stresses of 2019 and enjoy our family, without worrying about any of the worries that normally go along with planning a family trip.”
Anthony’s wish was granted thanks to the funds raised by local Jersey Mike’s Subs restaurants as part of last year’s “Month of Giving” campaign, which granted over 40 wishes for kids like Anthony.
“It’s incredible knowing that lots of organizations and businesses are going out of their way to give back to people in need,” Anthony shared. And in my particular case, I am extremely grateful for what Jersey Mikes has done and hopefully will continue to do. I thank God for everything they have done for Make-A-Wish and especially me and my family.”
In March 2020, over 80 Jersey Mike’s Subs restaurants throughout New Jersey have once again joined forces with Make-A-Wish New Jersey, raising vital funds needed to aid the organization in their mission. The month long campaign, which will culminate with the “Day of Giving” on Wednesday March 25th, a day when Jersey Mike’s Subs restaurants donates 100% of the day’s sales, hopes to engage the local community and raise significant funds to grant wishes once again this year. Since 2017, Jersey Mike’s Subs has donated over $1 Million to Make-A-Wish New Jersey.
Make-A-Wish New Jersey has granted nearly 11,000 wishes since its inception in 1983. The generous support of corporations like Jersey Mike’s Subs is critical to the organization’s continued success.