For ten-year-old Domenic’s family, his wish trip to Hawaii to see a volcano was more than just an amazing experience. It was a new beginning for Domenic, diagnosed with medulloblastoma, and his entire family after a year of hardship, surgeries and chemotherapy.
“The wish in and of itself is only part of the experience,” Domenic’s father wrote Make-A-Wish®. “It is also the experience of having people walk in your home during your darkest hour, and knowing that their sole purpose is to try to bring joy and happiness back into your life…”
Domenic’s family from West Homestead, PA, is one of many who have had their lives changed by a wish. According to a recent study commissioned by Make-A-Wish® America, 98% of parents felt the wish experience gave them the opportunity to be a “normal” family again and nearly three quarters of parents felt the wish experience marked a turning point in their own child’s battle against their illness.
During their wish trip, Domenic and his family rode in a helicopter, went snorkeling, visited amazing waterfalls and crawled through old lava formations. The highlight of Domenic’s wish trip, though, was swimming with dolphins. “It’s hard to explain, but the experience was one of pure joy and laughter for all of us. The kids spent days talking about it, and to this day, can still recall the names of the dolphins.”
For Domenic’s parents, the wish was a much-needed psychological break from the trying experiences of the past year. For his siblings, it was a chance to be part of the family again. And for Dominic, it was an eye-opening and life-changing experience. Domenic’s father explained that his son “smiled, laughed and played as he had not done in months…The joy you bring families could never be expressed in words.”