And here on the Wish Nation blog, we’ll be featuring wish highlights of Land, Air and Sea – trips near and far that truly transform wish kids and their families. This is Frankie's story.
In May of 2016, Frankie had a seizure at school. It was the first and only seizure he had ever had. A brain scan later revealed an acute mass in the middle of his brain.
Initially, doctors and Frankie’s family were confident it was a benign tumor. But following surgery to remove the mass, Frankie was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer that typically has a 50 percent survival rate. Frankie, at the age of 3, went from being a normal kid who loved adventurous playtime and chatting with his parents to a cancer patient who required severe chemotherapy, radiation and stem cell transplants.
“He was a rock star through the whole thing,” said Frankie’s mom, Kate. “He didn’t act sick. He never needed a feeding tube. We stayed very positive and got lots of support from our family.” Today, Frankie is more than two years cancer-free.
Family Needed a Wish
As Much As Frankie Did
Frankie loves an outdoor exploration. And if his family is by his side, he’s a very happy camper. When Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area connected with Frankie, they started collaborating on what sort of adventure would fulfill his most heartfelt wish. Frankie was fixated on the idea of visiting a snowy place where he could go sledding, make snowballs and explore the mountains.
And according to Kate, having his family next to him through treatment really helped Frankie. After all they went through together, his wish was something that really helped them. Although Frankie was in remission by the time his wish was granted, “we all still struggle a little bit. It’s just hard to relax. We can never relax. Even the treatment Frankie received may cause cancer,” Kate said. “We have to be on our toes for the rest of our lives, and we are still accepting that.”
Yet in the snow on Frankie’s wish, “we really relaxed. It was a great way to get away from all the reminders of what we went through. It was good to take a break from juggling it all,” Kate said. “His wish was perfect for him – a simple vacation to make some new memories that were positive. He just loves being with us.”
Some of those memories even extended into the Airbnb home where Frankie and his family stayed. “It was perfect because [after our snow activities], we went back to our big house with a hot tub and went out for Chinese food and got all of our favorite foods to cook at the house,” Kate said. “It was a very relaxing vacation.” It’s incredible sponsors like Airbnb that help make so many wish experiences on land possible.
"Make-A-Wish is a true pioneer in creating once in a lifetime experiences, like this wonderful snowy adventure for Frankie and his family,” said Kim Rubey, Director, Social Impact, Airbnb. “What we love about our partnership with Make-A-Wish is that Airbnb’s amazing hosts and their incredible listings can help the Make-A-Wish team make every single wish magical and memorable."
Photo credit: Rachid Photo
Did you know that nationally, Make-A-Wish would need more than 2.8 billion miles, or 50,000 round-trip tickets, to cover every travel wish each year? Donate your unused miles or points NOW to help transform lives with a trip!
You can also help us celebrate #TripsThatTransform by checking out our lnstagram to see all of the amazing places these partners help our wish families explore! And remember to stay tuned to Wish Nation through the month of August for wish trip stories of Land, Air and Sea. Read more about Make-A-Wish Travel Month here.