Wish kid Dominic, of Mercer, Pa., is not your average four-year-old. Unlike many his age, he has already mastered the sometimes difficult life lesson of sharing. His wish? To pay it forward. Dominic’s wish-come-true was to go on a shopping spree, but not entirely for himself. As a part of his wish, Dominic, who is diagnosed with leukemia, wanted to share with other kids just like him.
In Dominic’s words, “My first wish is going shopping. I chose this wish because I want to give some toys to Children’s Hospital for the treasure chest and get some cars for me.”
And so it began! The shopping frenzy commenced on Sunday morning, as Dominic, mom, dad and little brother Damien were whisked away in a limo to the first destination, every four-year-old’s shopping spree dream: Toys 'R' Us. After picking out some toys for himself (i.e. all of the cars one can imagine), Dominic, with the help of Geoffrey the Giraffe, started making selections to fill the treasure chest. With his shopping carts full and ready for check-out, Dominic was prepared for his final stop, Walmart. While there, Dominic purchased even more toys for both himself and, inspired by his generosity, received some donated toys from the employees.
The next day, Dominic and his family arrived to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC via limo, and like the superstar wish kid that he is, Dominic stepped out sporting some newly purchased shades. After completely filling four wagons of assorted toys – all labeled with stickers declaring, “Donated by Dominic” – he was ready for the red carpet.
Not knowing what awaited on the other side, Dominic and his entourage walked through the double-doors of the Marty Ostrow Hematology/Oncology Outpatient Center to a hero’s welcome from Dominic’s physicians and staff and ravishing red carpet leading straight to the giant wooden treasure chest. With all four wagons following behind them, Dominic and his brother made it to the chest, which was also marked by a large banner hanging from above proclaiming, “Thank You, Dominic!” One by one, Dominic and Damien took toys from the wagons and carefully placed them into the chest. After unloading just two wagons, the toys were overflowing out of the once empty treasure chest.
As the celebration came to a close, Dominic’s physician, Dr. Cooper, presented him with a certificate of recognition thanking him for his generous donation. Dominic’s wish, however, was not truly complete until a fellow patient asked him to help her pick out a toy. Dominic spent the rest of the day playing with his brother and other patients as smiles and laughter filled the ninth floor.
And with that, Dominic’s wish was complete because, like he said, “I wanted to see the kids happy.”