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Wishing Well Blog

Jun 13, 2014

Celebrating Renewed Family Bonds

Brendan and his dad after shooting off the fireworks at Walt Disney World
When we talk about wishes, we often think of the positive, lasting effects they have on the wish kids. But often times, the wish has a life-changing impact on siblings and parents, too. For families, who are often separated by hospital stays and doctor appointments, the wish experience brings them back together again. Whether it be a day, two days or a week, the wish gives them a time to enjoy each other's company, laugh, have fun and not think about the stresses of an illness. In honor of Father's Day weekend, let's take a look at special wishes that help renew family bonds.

Jaelyn and her dadThis 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. 

Domenic and his family in Hawaii

"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.  

  • Dylan and his sister with Goofy

  • Brendan at the firework controls

  • The family hanging out with the characters from Seussland

  • To Infinity and Beyond!

  • Domenic and his brother enjoy looking for sea shells on the Hawaiian beach

  • Domenic's wish to see a volcano comes true

About this Blog

This blog brings Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia to you -- sharing first-person stories of the Make-A-Wish experience and the impact of a wish from the perspectives of wish families, volunteers and staff. This blog highlights wishes come true and the special people in Pennsylvania and West Virginia that help create life-changing experiences for every eligible child.

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Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Inc.
The Gulf Tower
707 Grant Street, 37th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1938
(412) 471-9474
Toll Free (800) 676-9474
Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Southern West Virginia Office
888 Oakwood Rd
Oakwood Center, Suite 330
Charleston, WV 25314
(304) 342-9474
Toll Free (800) 664-9474
Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Northern West Virginia Office
913 Canyon Road
Morgantown, WV 26508
(304) 292-5600
Toll Free (888) 808-9474