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Mush On, Wish On! Make-A-Wish® Alaska Partners with Donlin Gold to Grant Girl’s Iditarod Wish


February 20, 2013


Anchorage, AK

Who and What

Fourteen-year-old Hannah loves animals, adventures, and the great outdoors. But after her diagnosis with a life-threatening genetic immune disease, her adventurist spirit was challenged by a new routine of doctor’s appointments and medical treatments.

Hannah will journey across the country from her small hometown in Glastonbury, Connecticut to Anchorage, where she will experience her one most heartfelt wish—to ride in the ceremonial start of the Iditarod! Hannah will have an exclusive Iditarod experience, sponsored by Donlin Gold, a principal partner of the Iditarod, and her friends at Make-A-Wish Alaska.

Media interested in sharing Hannah’s story should contact Nicole Sheldon, regional director of Make-A-Wish Alaska at 907.258.9476 or

When and Where

Day 1 – February 28

  • 12pm: Hannah attends a pizza lunch at Millennium Anchorage Hotel (4800 Spenard Rd) with dog sled musher, Ramey Smyth, to give Hannah a few tips and tricks on the journey ahead.
  • 5:30pm:Off to the Musher’s Banquet at Dena’ina Convention Center (600 W 7th Ave)! Hannah will have a chance to interact with the mushers as a special guest and watch first-hand as they choose their positions for the big race.

Day 2 – March 1st

  • Time TBD (dependent on Ramey Smyth’s starting position): Today is Hannah’s dog sledding debut! Hannah heads to downtown Anchorage (W 4th Ave) to meet with Ramey Smyth as a fellow musher for the Ceremonial Start of the Iditarod! Hannah will lead her family through the crowds to join the mushers on the street. At the sound of the horn, Hannah mushes off into the Last Frontier—knowing this is the moment her wish comes true.
  • One Hour Later: Family and fans cheer for Hannah at the finish line as she ends her ride at the Campbell Airstrip (4700 Blm Rd).

Day 3 – March 3rd

  • 2pm:The official start of the Iditarod! Hannah’s Idita-Rider VIP pass will take her to the front all the action for the “Re-Start” at Willow Lake (Willow Community Center: George Parks Hwy, Willow). Hannah will wish her favorite fellow musher, Ramey Smyth, good luck and bon voyage as he sets off on the 10-day race.

Day 4 – March 4th

  • 11am: Hannah heads over to The Alaska Zoo (4731 O’Malley Road, Anchorage) for a unique animal adventure. Because of her known love for animals and wildlife, she will experience a behind-the-scenes, up-close encounter with the harbor seals!

About Make-A-Wish Alaska:

Since 1986, Make-A-Wish Alaska has granted Alaskan wishes to more than 500 children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. This year, the local chapter will grant about 30 wishes, and an additional 30 wishes to kids from across the US who wish to visit Alaska as part of their wish. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can influence the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. For more information about Make-A-Wish Alaska and how you can share the power of a wish® please call 800.304.9474, visit or connect with us on Facebook at or on Twitter at @MakeAWishAKWA.


Nicole Sheldon
Regional Director, Anchorage Office or 907.258.9476

Lindsay Schrupp
Social Media and Media Relations or 206.588.8953

Press Contact

Jeannette Tarcha
Vice President, Communications & Marketing
811 1st Ave #620
Seattle, WA  98104

Phone : (206) 623-5338
Fax : (206) 623-5333

Latest Status Update

  • It's #NationalRescueDogDay! When Chloe’s wish-granting volunteers asked her to decide a wish, this teenager decided to wish for a companion; But not just any companion, a rescue dog named Birmingham. Learn more here: #RescueDog #DogLovers

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Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington
811 1st Ave #620
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 623-5300
Toll Free (800) 304-9474
Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington, Eastern Washington Office
104 S Freya St
Green Flag Bldg #210
Spokane, WA 99202
(509) 458-2618
Toll Free (888) 790-7005
Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington, Alaska Office
430 W 7th Ave #110
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 258-9474
Toll Free (844) 510-9474