Living with a child who qualifies for a wish is not a desire any parent has. It is not something you want. Knowing your beloved child is a statistic for meeting criteria that enables them to qualify for a wish given to a child with a critical illness is not a comfortable place to be. However, the employees and volunteers at Make-A-Wish enable you to forget the statistic, to forget the illness, and to become a family out for fun and adventure together at no cost to the family.
Our week with Daddy unplugged from work, our days free to think about nothing but each other, nothing but having fun and adventures together was unreal. Truly. We had nothing restricting us. Any hardship was cared for. Any desire was covered. We were free to laugh, free to explore, and free to love fully in the moment. All at no cost to us. The stroller we rented daily because Brooklyn was not able to walk the park, was free. The parking, free. The flight to Florida, free. The villa we stayed in, free. The food we ate each and every day, free. The souvenirs we got the girls were, you guessed it, free. We paid for nothing.
When you have a child with a critical illness, the medical bills are unreal, even with insurance. To have the gift of this wish together, with no care that was unmet, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Just writing about the small details of our story brings tears to my eyes. For I recognize this adventure as a blessing. I believe the people who work and volunteer at Make-A-Wish are unlike any other. The awareness and money they raise do more than provide a vacation. They provide a respite. They provide a safe place to land. They provide a kiss and hug. You know your child is seen. They are truly loved and cared for.
Thank you Make-A-Wish, CBIZ, and everyone who supports the life-affirming mission of Make-A-Wish, for the incredible work you are doing. It is very much appreciated.