It’s officially summer! For many, this is considered their favorite time of the year. Beach towels, sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen – it may sound like your packing list for an average summer day at the beach, but for some families, it’s quite literally a wish come true.
At Make-A-Wish, while we look forward to summer for many of those same reasons, there is one glaring difference for us: summer wish season. For all those reasons stated and more, summer is our busiest time of the year for granting wishes – specifically travel wishes. Throughout the school year, many of our wish kids are forced to miss class due to doctors’ visits, treatments, and surgeries, that it’s typically unrealistic for them to travel at all. Therefore, many of our wish families anticipate summertime for its freedom.
For our families, these simple summer wishes are the ultimate escape from the day-to-day challenge of battling a critical illness. Even better, they have the power to heal. These wishes allow them to be together again after so many weeks, months or even years of splitting time between nights at the hospital. Many of our families come back from their wish and say, “It was great to be a family again!” No matter the destination, wishes matter. Having something to look forward to can help our wish kids power through treatment and stay positive in the face of seemingly overwhelming obstacles.
As you make your summer plans, please consider helping a child find strength and joy through a life-changing wish. Children just like our own local wish kids. Children just like Emma, Chris, & Gabriella.
When Emma first told her family that her wish was to go to Paris, they had their doubts about whether that was even an option with her cancer treatments. However, shortly after meeting her volunteer wish granters, Emma and her family learned that Paris was within reach.
||I wish to go to Paris
Emma’s wish to go to Paris stemmed from her love of art. She has always loved art; whether it be coloring, painting, sculpting, visiting museums or simply reading about art in school textbooks, Emma enjoys fully immersing herself in art. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to discover all that the Paris art culture has to offer. She is especially looking forward to seeing the Louvre, Disneyland Paris and the Eiffel Tower. Her family is already anticipating that Emma’s smile will certainly outshine the Mona Lisa’s as she embraces all that Paris has to offer.
When asked about how the wish is going to impact her family, Emma’s mom, Heather, was hopeful in replying, “I think it will help her to realize she can still reach for the stars during this very difficult time in her life.”
||I wish to go to Switzerland
After a whirlwind year of chemotherapy treatment, Chris’ family is thrilled to be celebrating his remission with his heartfelt wish coming true this summer. Chris is a fun-loving kid who has a heart for Star Wars, NASA and baseball. However, he set all those things aside for what is most important to him: his family.
He will be living out his wish to go to Switzerland, where his three cousins live. His family is beyond grateful for the wish as it was a guiding light even on the darkest of days. Chris’
mom Kelly recognizes that, “Battling cancer is a true test of courage, teamwork and unconditional love for each other.”
She looks forward to nothing more than seeing her son Chris and his twin brother Nathan smiling together in such a beautiful place. As Chris prepares to enter a two-year journey of maintenance chemotherapy, he is ready to recharge in both the snow and the sun in Switzerland this summer.
||I wish to go to Tahiti
Gabriella was beyond excited to find out that her one-true wish of going to Tahiti was coming true. Her enthusiasm for this opportunity of a lifetime was bursting out of her throughout her treatment, as she shared her wish with her oncologists. She also created posters of why her wish was going to be so wonderful, for all to see.
For Gabriella, her wish was the hope that pushed her through surgery, 12 rounds of chemotherapy, 33 radiation treatments, countless blood tests and scans. When asked about the impact of the wish, Gabriella’s mom said that “We, as a family, were able to forget about the fact that Gabriella went through nine months’ worth of treatment by enjoying a vacation together as a family.”
Gabriella’s wish was filled with adventure and much needed relaxation. Gabriella experienced the thrill of a jungle safari, swimming with dolphins, and even enjoyed a traditional Polynesian dinner. If that wasn’t enough excitement for this brave young girl, she also scuba dived with sharks and stingrays. Her wish was just what she and her family needed to replace the negative memories of the last nine months with the fond memories of her Tahitian adventure.
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Grant Local Wishes this Summer!