This foundation provides so many kids with wonderful opportunities to make their wishes come true when their lives and the lives of those around them are full of uncertainties, fear, challenges and in some cases no hope.
I woke up one day, 15 years old, with my whole life ahead of me, and by the time that day ended, I had been diagnosed with Osteosarcoma and from that point on my life was changed.
Osteosarcoma is a life threatening, aggressive form of bone cancer, which demanded an aggressive form of treatment. My treatment plan included 6 months of chemo, a surgery to replace 4 inches of my shin bone with a metal prosthesis, and then another 6 months of chemo. I was treated at Children’s Hospital where I ended up spending more time than at home. I was treated with 5 different chemotherapy medications which had many side effects.
My life changed dramatically, as I was too sick to attend school and most of my friends went on with their lives. I felt left out of all of the normal things that teenagers do. I was on my High School Dance Team and was told I could never dance again. My life was now about chemo treatments, blood counts, watching my hair fall out, starting to feel better after a treatment only to start the whole cycle all over again.
Then one day, I was visited by a Make-A-Wish representative who told me I was qualified for a wish, because I had a life threatening disease. I still remember that very moment because I then turned to my mom and said “I have a life threatening disease?” The thought of what I might wish for, and the wish actually coming true, gave me something to look forward to, rather than my next treatment.
I talked to other wish kids I knew at the hospital and we researched wishes on the internet! It was the most fun I had in a long time!! Eventually I chose to go on a cruise.
When the wish granters came to visit, I had all my information ready. I told them the ship I wanted to be on and the islands I wanted to visit. I was worried about being too greedy. However, make a wish added more!! They paid for my family to go horseback riding on the beach in Aruba, swimming with the dolphins in Curacao and they gave us spending money too!! We visited beaches, went shopping, and toured the islands. They were so beautiful! The boat was just as fun, if not even more. There were endless amounts of things to do on the boat like rock climbing, miniature golfing, bingo, anything you could dream of, and it was there. My Make-A-wish vacation was one the best trips I have ever had, and I will remember it and what make a wish did for me for the rest of my life.
I stand here today, one of the lucky ones, who received a wish and am still here to talk about it and ask for your continued support of the Make A Wish Foundation. A few of the kids that I was in the hospital with, had their wish come true and unfortunately lost their battle with cancer. I owe it to them to support Make-A-Wish and tell my story to encourage everyone to support the foundation that grants wishes to children with life threatening illnesses. I am now in my second year of remission and as healthy as ever. I continued to dance once I was out of treatment and had plenty of time to recover. I am now a freshman at SWIC studying to become a Pediatric Nurse. Thank you and please continue to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation.