When Julia walked up to her dad for the first time ever and gave him a hug, her mom couldn’t help but hold back tears of joy.
Julia’s journey to this moment was a long one. And you helped make it possible.
Ten-year-old Julia was born with cerebral palsy, hip dysplasia and epilepsy, and relies on power mobility to get around. She doesn’t sit independently and much of her daily life requires assistance from caretakers.
Before Julia’s wish, this moment wouldn’t have happened.
When Julia found out she qualified for a wish, her family carefully weighed their options. They knew Julia wouldn’t do well with airplanes, so a long trip wasn’t a good fit. She dislikes rides, so an amusement park wasn’t right either. But Julia really loves to swim, so she wished to have her very own swim spa.
“(Since she got the swim spa), she’s making progress toward sitting up independently and her body condition has changed,” said wish mom Alaina. “To see her have the independence she wants but isn’t capable of having is just incredible.”
Julia’s transformation only happened because of the generosity of our community, including Marquis, a Make-A-Wish national corporate partner for more than 16 years. That’s when local Marquis dealer, Seattle Hot Tub Company, sprang into action to help.
Seattle Hot Tub Company knew Julia’s wish couldn’t happen without the support of the community, so they reached out to their partners, too. Western Crane donated a crane for installation and Illuminate Contracting donated their services for electrical work. Together, people just like you came together to make Julia’s wish possible.
“Having this swim spa right outside her back door, being able to use it any time is going to help uplift her spirit,” said Nelson Bryant, owner of Seattle Hot Tub Company.
And Julia’s wish has brought her much more than joy. Now, she can have the independence she wants, but doesn’t have on land.
“The most surprising thing we hear from wish families is that they usually select a hot tub or a swim spa wish because they see a need for aqua therapy,” said Lindy Rickert, communications manager at Marquis. “What surprises them is that it provides so much more. They’re able to connect like they never have before.”
Now, Julia can go swimming any time she wants. “We’ve been able to spend more family time together,” said Alaina. “This is something everybody can do.”
And, it’s not just Julia’s life that has been changed by her wish. “Community is important, and we feel good about giving back and helping,” said Nelson. “It affected us in a very positive way.”
Special thanks to Marquis Spas, Seattle Hot Tub Company, Western Crane, Illuminate Contracting and wish-granting volunteers Melanie Judd and Megan Prine.