This weekend, seven-year-old Jaelyn's wish will be coming true -- she will be traveling to North Carolina for some quality time with her dad. During Father's Day and the week following, Jaelyn, who has been battling leukemia, and her father will spend time together at the beach, get a behind-the-scenes tour of the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores and enjoy dinner at Crab’s Claw at Atlantic Beach. It is sure to be an unforgettable week.
Wish experiences like Jaelyn's bring joy and hope to families when they need it the most. After the wish, we hear from families about how time together had a positive impact. Domenic, diagnosed with medulloblastoma, was nine when his wish was granted to see a volcano in Hawaii. His father wrote us following his wish about the benefits the entire wish experience had on Domenic, Domenic's siblings and him and his wife.
"The wish in and of itself is only part of the experience. For us, the experience was much more than just the wish. It also is the experience of having people walk into your home during your darkest hour, and knowing that their sole purpose is to bring joy and happiness back into your life.... The joy you bring families could never be expressed in words."
A wish to Walt Disney World® also provided a break from ongoing stresses of dealing with a medical condition for Brendan's and Dylan's families. Their fathers wrote us about how the wish experience benefited their families.
"From the moment we arrived at the airport to the moment we returned home and landed back in Pittsburgh, we were treated like royalty," said Brendan's dad (top photo). "Hundreds of people worked hard and volunteered their precious time to make this the best week of our life."
"We got to have fun as a family with no worries," wrote Dylan's father. "Seeing both of my children smiling and laughing was the best thing that has happened in a long time."
Here's to more life-changing experiences for wish kids, their fathers and families. Happy Father's Day to all our wish fathers, volunteers and supporters! If you would like to share your wish experience, we'd love to hear from you. Share your story by clicking here.