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Wishing Well Blog

Celebrating Life with Wish Kid & Past Make-A-Wish Intern Erika Moul

Erika and family in Hawaii
Did you hear? There was a worldwide celebration – a Celebration of Life. Millions of survivors united this past Sunday to show the world what life after cancer looks like.

Every first Sunday in June marks National Cancer Survivors Day (NCSD) – “a celebration for those who have survived, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for families and an outreach to the community.” According to the NCSD Foundation, nearly 14 million people are living with a history of cancer, and some of those survivors include our resilient and courageous wish kids.

So many of our wish kids fight back and overcome their medical conditions and continue their journeys full of steadfast vigor and determination, strength and joy – they choose to celebrate life. Wish kid and former Make-A-Wish® intern Erika Moul, now 26, truly shows that life after cancer – as the NCSD Foundation puts it – can be meaningful, exciting, and filled with joy.

In 2002, when Erika was almost 15 years old, she was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. A little over a year later, after undergoing an exhausting battle, Erika pulled through – she “knew there would be a light at the end of the tunnel.” Soon enough, Erika was on her way to her wish trip destination of Hawaii. Today, when reflecting upon her wish, Erika says it was “a celebration that marked the end of my battle and the beginning of my life as a survivor. I can still vividly remember all of the experiences.”

Erika surfing
Erika surfing

It’s been more than 10 years since her diagnosis – quite literally making it history – and she has made such strides since then. Erika graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010, and while there she interned with two different departments at the Make-A-Wish headquarters here in Pittsburgh. She later began her career with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and after a move to Houston, Texas, Erika now works at Rice University in alumni relations and fundraising.

Erika with her fiance BradAside from her work life, Erika is happily engaged to her fiancé Brad, has a golden retriever named Carly, and spends her free time volunteering with various organizations that help pediatric cancer patients and their families. She is also quite busy planning her wedding scheduled for the fall of 2015!

Erika is just one of the many examples of wish kids who are now living with a history of cancer – they have leaped forward, leaving their medical condition behind them. All of their stories help prove how powerful a wish experience can be by creating some moments of hope and happiness during times that can sometimes be circumscribed by pain, fear and uncertainty.

Let’s all take a moment to celebrate these wish kids as well as the millions of other cancer survivors all across the globe. Let’s celebrate life!

For Erika’s personal account of her Hawaii wish trip, click here

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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