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Wishing Well Blog

Jul 02, 2014

Wish Wednesday: Wishes that Won't Be Forgotten

Elizabeth enjoying a carefree day at the beach
There's pretty much a day for everything. If you look on "bizarre holiday" website calendars, you'll find Hug a Newsman day, Pig in a Blanket day, Clean your Refrigerator day, even a Wiggle Your Toes day (just to name a few). Today is "I Forgot" Day. While the intent of the "holiday" is to make up for all those forgotten birthdays and anniversaries, I couldn't help thinking of our wish families. They experience many days that they would rather forget. Make-A-Wish helps to replace these days of sickness, pain, doctor visits and hospital stays with unforgettable, joyful experiences. Wish kid Zack, who was granted his wish for a T-rex dinosaur in 2005 while battling cancer, now holds an annual event for Make-A-Wish and often thinks about his wish day.

"Make-A-Wish made a big difference in my recovery because it gave me a day of hope," said Zack. "It was a day I didn’t have to think about hospitals and being sick."

Many wish kids and families like Zack's have renewed hope after being granted a wish. So let's take a look at some wishes that kids and families tell us will stay with them forever.

Andrew is greeted at the LA airportAndrew's Slam Dunk

Andrew's wish to go to the NBA All-Star game is not only a wish that he remembers, but one that continues to inspire him ten years later.  When Andrew was diagnosed with epilepsy as a child, there were many times where he just wanted to quit.  His attitude changed when he was granted his wish to attend the NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles in 2004.  Instead of thinking about quitting, he strived to keep going. Andrew said, “My wish would have been for nothing if I would have let my epilepsy get the best of me.”

Now, as Andrew celebrates the 10th anniversary of his wish, he still has some symptoms of epilepsy but is overcoming them. He believes that his wish helped him to get through the tough times and become a better, more successful person today. Andrew said, “To know that there are people like Make-A-Wish in this world is what makes it a better place and one that I am proud to be a part of.”

Elizabeth ready for a fun-filled beach vacationBeach Bliss for Elizabeth 

Elizabeth, too, deals with a life-threatening form of epilepsy.  To alleviate her seizures, she underwent complex brain surgery and some very trying times.  When Elizabeth was offered the opportunity to wish for anything she wanted, she knew a relaxing beach vacation in Florida would be perfect.  What better way to forget about your worries than to spend hours along the beach making sandcastles and watching for dolphins? Elizabeth mom's said that Elizabeth's trip "helped her to enjoy herself and remember good times versus all the hard times."  Her father added, “the wish brightened all our spirits and we shall never forget it and will continue to support Make-A-Wish.” 

Wade's Heaven on Earth

Wade was eager to let his cares drift away during a fun beach experience as well.  He was referred to Make-A-Wish shortly after being diagnosed with neuroblastoma in June 2012.  After more than a year of undergoing treatments, Wade and his family headed to the Bahamas for a week in the warm sun just as the cold Pennsylvania winter was starting.   Wade and his family described the trip, which included meetings with dolphins and plenty of time on the beach, as "the best time of our lives."  His mother wrote, " It was a vacation we will never forget.  It was like heaven on earth. We had no stress! No doctors! Everything was right there waiting for us." 

Wade and his family

Andrew, Elizabeth and Wade are just a few kids who have had their most challenging days replaced with memories that they will cherish forever.  So far this year, we've given more than 550 kids and their families a chance to have an unforgettable experience.   Are you one of these kids or would like to help make these experiences possible?  Share your wish experience here or learn more about how you can help.

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