Lucy will never forget the day she found out her daughter, Anne, was eligible for a wish.
A social worker at the hospital approached her after a particularly hard day of treatment for Anne.
When the social worker said the words “Make-A-Wish” to Lucy, the seriousness of her daughter’s illness became real.
Nine-year-old Anne was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in February, 2013. She underwent six months of chemotherapy, and she and her mom moved away from their family to be closer to the hospital.
Anne faced these challenges with tremendous courage. “Anne was amazing,” Lucy said. “And her strength gave us strength.”
Even before her battle with cancer, Anne has always been interested in challenges. This is a girl who watched the show "Survivor" with her family for years.
So, Anne wished to experience a “Survivor” themed trip to Hawaii. “When Anne first heard of Make-A-Wish, she didn't believe any of it,” said Lucy. But, with each new day and visits from Make-A-Wish volunteers, Anne’s wish became real to her. “The hope and joy we experienced from all our Make-A-Wish contacts gave us strength to take the next treatment steps. Anne's wish became a goal to reach, a destination beyond cancer that would begin our family's next season of life—post cancer.”
Her wish began in Seattle, when employees of McAdams Wright Ragen, Inc. hosted a send-off party for her. Anne met past “Survivor” contestant Michael Jefferson and members of the UW softball team, enjoyed a luau buffet and faced three “Survivor” challenges. Lucy described the send-off as “absolutely incredible.”
Once in Hawaii, Anne and her family faced ‘challenges’ every day, including a snorkeling adventure, a dolphin encounter, a whale watching trip and a tour of a volcano. “‘Survivor’ was a dream wish,” said Lucy.
And, upon returning home, as a cancer survivor and wish champion, Anne looks toward her future with hope and a renewed faith in humanity. “Make-A-Wish definitely highlighted the goodness of people and how people working together can make almost anything happen,” said Lucy.
In the end, Anne’s wish was not a “Survivor” ‘challenge’ at all. “It was a celebration of Anne's win against her cancer and the carefree days and fun we would have together as a family reunited.”
Special thanks: Wish-granting volunteers Barbara Carlson and Alexandra Flugstad, Adopt-A-Wish® sponsor McAdams Wright Ragen, Inc., Make-A-Wish® Hawaii, Alaska Airlines, Barnes and Noble.