Jamesia’s world has shrunk to the size of a hospital room. She’s made this new world her own by covering her bed in pink blankets and pillows, but she can’t forget the cancer or that this is still a hospital room. She needs a diversion, an escape.
Before being admitted to the hospital, Jamesia used a teacher’s iPad to discover the boundless possibilities behind that little screen. She could list game after game that she loves to play, so when asked what her true wish was, the answer was simple. An iPad to take her beyond the walls of her hospital room.
The Make-A-Wish Mississippi volunteers took her wish one step further. Jamesia needed a real escape from the hospital, and a shopping spree would do the trick. On the day of her wish, a white limousine filled with balloons, Skittles and gifts arrived to collect Jamesia and her family. One gift stood out among the others piled in the limousine. Open that one first, the Make-A-Wish volunteers told Jamesia. As she tore off the wrapping paper, her face began to light up and she screamed with excitement. In her hands was an iPad.
Jamesia’s wish was fulfilled, but the day was only starting. First, it was time to update her wardrobe. Jamesia was greeted by a personal shopper and her own dressing room decked out with posters and balloons. She left the first of many stores with a bundle of balloons and more bags than she could carry. Next up: some electronic accessories. Jamesia picked out some Hello Kitty headphones and a cover for her new iPad. She passed on the generosity and insisted that an employee take a box of her Skittles in return for being so kind. The rest of the day was spent shopping for toys, sports equipment and anything else a 10-year-old girl could want.
Jamesia’s face reveals the pure joy of that day. “Thank you for giving my baby the greatest day ever,” Jamesia’s mom said. Of course, her iPad will accompany Jamesia to all future hospital visits. And when she needs to escape thoughts of her cancer, happiness will only be a click or a memory away.