Point Pleasant Child's Wish Granted By Make-A-Wish New Jersey
March 3, 2020
Monroe Township - A local child’s wish was granted by Make-A-Wish New Jersey, whose mission is to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Eight-year-old Max, from Point Pleasant New Jersey, wished to go to Walt Disney World®. His wish was granted last year, thanks to the 2019 Jersey Mike’s Subs “Month of Giving” Campaign, which raised over $458,000 for Make-A-Wish New Jersey. Jersey Mike’s Subs and Make-A-Wish New Jersey are partnering once again this March for the 2020 March “Month of Giving”, to raise funds for more wishes for children with critical illnesses. The campaign kicked off March 1st.
Max was diagnosed with a life-threatening nervous system disorder at a young age. At just six months old, he experienced his first of what would be many seizures.
“It was terrifying,” his mother Jenn shared. “We had no idea what was going on.”
Max would take on a series of seizures every few weeks.
“Max’s seizures don’t stop on their own,” Jenn continued. “Every one of them is life-threatening when it happens. And it’s never going to go away. And it’s challenging, with a twin brother and a younger sister who have no illness. It’s hard.”
Max is currently on medications that has helped him to be seizure-free for almost two years. His family is deeply grateful for the long-lasting reprieve, but also fearful of the day his condition may attack again.
The constant fear and anxiety of losing their son has played an immense toll on Max’s family, but they continue to live in the most positive ways, always finding the joy life has to offer to them.
“He is the most outgoing, loving, friendly kid you’ll ever meet,” Jenn shared. “He will say ‘thank you’ or ‘I love you’ to anyone. He’s incredible.”
When Max was referred to Make-A-Wish, he met with dedicated volunteers and was presented with the life-changing, powerful question all wish children are asked: “If you could have one wish, what would it be?”
Max’s one true wish was to travel to the most magical place on earth, Walt Disney World.
The trip included special accommodations at Give Kids The World Village in Florida, a resort designed especially for kids like Max and their families. While in Disney, Max enjoyed wearing costumes of his favorite characters, visiting the new Star Wars exhibits and activities in Hollywood Studios – he is a huge Star Wars fan – and riding what would become his all-time favorite ride, “Peter Pan’s Flight” in the Magic Kingdom.
“We have always had a fear that we would not have a chance to go to Disney anytime soon,” Jenn shared. “We were scared of finally being able to go, but would it be without Max? It was like a dream to think of Max in costumes, going to Walt Disney World, and then to see it come true…it was incredible.”
For Max’s family, the trip was one that created memories that will last a lifetime. It gave them a chance to exhale and relax, away from the stresses of ongoing medical treatments and hospital visits. It was a chance to simply be a family.
“This trip surpassed everything,” Jenn said. “I don’t have words. This trip just did something to us that we can’t describe…it was soulful.”
Max’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 Max. For March 2020, over 80 Jersey Mike’s Subs restaurants throughout New Jersey have 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.