Make-A-Wish Southwestern Ontario

After 22 years of involvement with Make-A-Wish Southwestern Ontario as a wish mom, volunteer and staff member, there are many stories to share. One of our family's fondest memories is a relationship we built through the Kids for Wish Kids program.

Our daughter, was born with a rare life-threatening medical condition. In 1996, our family’s hospital service provider approached us about Make-A-Wish. Our daughter was turning five years old the following year, and it seemed like a perfect time for a wish. Her 5th birthday was a significant milestone to reach, as sadly 95 per cent of children with her condition do not reach the age of one. Our daughter loved Minnie Mouse, and she wished to meet Minnie Mouse at Walt Disney World Resort.

Our family was asked by the Wish Coordinator, if we were okay with a school “adopting” our daughter’s Wish. We agreed, and then received a letter from the students from Central Huron Secondary School in Clinton, outlining all of their fundraising efforts and that the whole school of 700 students would be involved. The students sent a card to our daughter with several signatures on it and a Minnie Mouse necklace. Our family was so amazed that a whole school, that didn’t even know us, was doing this for our  child.

We noticed that there was a return address on the envelope and assumed this was from a teacher. We decided to send pictures of  our daughter, a note about her condition, and that we would love to come and meet them to thank them all in person. The individual was a 17-year-old student in grade 13. She was so excited, she went to her principal’s home that evening to ask for an assembly the next day to share the pictures and letter with all the students. Our family quickly formed a relationship with  her, and  our daughter bonded with her immediately.

The day our daughter’s younger sibling was born,  she received over 80 letters from the students. We were extremely overwhelmed and touched by such thoughtfulness.

The school invited our family to attend an assembly and the whole town was in attendance! The teachers wrote and sang a special song for  our daughter, the cheerleaders had created a cheer for  her, Disney music was played by the school band, and Disney characters were on hand to greet our family.

We were in awe when we saw our daughter dancing around the gym with her walker. Prior to that, she wouldn’t leave my side. It was a day we will always cherish, to see her in such a different light and so very happy.

Our family has formed such an amazing relationship over the years with the student and her family. The student is married and now has children of her own. She has also become an official volunteer Wish Granter and very involved with Make-A-Wish.

Our experience with Make-A-Wish has truly been an incredible journey that we continue to be blessed with. Our friends and extended family members are very much involved with this amazing organization as donors and volunteers, all because of  our daughter’s wish being granted. Each day, we are so grateful that  our daughter had the opportunity to have her wish granted, as it has enriched all our lives. Today, our Make-A-Wish team is honoured to be celebrating our 1500th wish and granting 100 wishes in 2019.

- Lori

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