Dreams Can Come True
A life-changing experience for me was witnessing my nine year old cousin being granted a wish. Garrett was not your average nine year old little boy. At this young age he had already endured three years of brain cancer, treatments and long hospital stays. When doctors and surgeons could no longer do anything else for Garrett, his family gathered together to decide how we could help him live out the rest of his life. A family friend said that they had heard how non-profit organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation had impacted the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Little did I realize how much this experience would also enrich my life.
The team of people who work and volunteer with the Make-A-Wish Foundation were amazing people. It was very evident that they care about each child that is referred to them and they do their very best to ensure that every single wish is carried out. It was inspiring to see how much this act of kindness and compassion impacted Garrett and his family. Garrett’s parents wanted to do something special for him but were so overwhelmed with medical bills that they couldn’t afford to grant Garrett a wish on their own. They are the type of family who never asked for any financial help, so were completely overwhelmed by such a generous gift.
When the agent from the Make-A-Wish Foundation initially met with Garret and his parents we knew that Garrett only had one to two months to live. His health was deteriorating quickly and so the process needed to move at a fast pace if Garrett was to live to experience his wish. His parents had taken him and his two sisters to Hawaii a couple of years earlier where Garrett had very fond memories of the vacation. He could have chosen any sort of wish but he asked if he could take his family back to Hawaii, where he could enjoy one last family vacation.
The foundation scheduled the trip immediately and Garrett and his family were soon enjoying the sun and beaches of Hawaii. The foundation also ensured that all accommodations were readily available for Garrett if there was to be a medical emergency. Garrett was not able to walk on his own at this time, but he didn’t show one sign of self pity. Instead he would quietly sit and watch his two sisters run and play on the beach. His parents could tell that this brought him peace. The pictures and video that we have of Garrett during his trip bring great joy and peace to the family. We all know that even though he was so young that he realized that it would not have been possible without the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Garret’s entire family will forever be grateful to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for bringing Garrett his last wish. I hope that I will be in a position one day to donate money and time to such a worthy cause. No child should have to endure such an illness, but it brings comfort to know that there are organizations that work very hard to make their dreams come true.