At age 14, she was faced with two chronic illnesses that began to greatly affect her daily life. The illnesses forced Laura to quit regular junior high and be home schooled. Due to her illness, Laura began to feel as if she were missing out on regular teen events. When she was 15, she won a nationwide contest from Oprah to fly to Chicago, be in the front row of the Oprah show and meet and see The New Kids on the Block in concert. Laura explains how "it was something that I have cherished my whole life, it made me feel special and wonderful, it gave me something special when I missed so much of other teen things ... I want to help provide this feeling to kids with life-threatening illnesses by making their one true wish come true!"
"Volunteering with Make-A-Wish has been like no other volunteer position at other nonprofits. There is a magical feeling at Make-A-Wish: it is everyone pulling together with their time and talents to make these wishes come true. At any Make-A-Wish event there is always a positive, energizing feeling of excitement!
My volunteer experience has brought me so much joy! It makes me feel like I'm part of something bigger than myself that is life-changing for me and the families that I work with. When you see the smiles of those wish children and their families, it makes your heart smile!
I would recommend volunteering with Make-A-Wish because it is never boring! Whether it's a speaking opportunity or working on a wish, it's always exciting to see what comes up next! There is truly no way to fully describe the feeling your heart experiences when you volunteer with Make-A-Wish! To know that you were able to help bring such joy to these children is inspiring."
What is the most rewarding part of volunteering for Make-A-Wish?
"The most rewarding part of volunteering for Make-A-Wish for me is working with the wish families. To be able to meet these children who are so caring and courageous and share this special experience with them is awesome. At the end of the day, to know that you've helped bring smiles and happiness to these families makes it all worthwhile. It makes my heart full and content!"