Return to mobile version

Alexander Catches a "Life Wish"

“ It remains the greatest trip our family has ever taken. ”

- Lisa, wish mom

When Alexander was a toddler he constantly drew little round doodles. Eventually, his parents realized that he was drawing bugs. As soon as he was able, Alexander began catching and pinning bugs for his own insect collection.

When he was six-years-old, Alexander was diagnosed with high risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). During his three years of chemotherapy and treatment, Alexander never lost interest in insects. So, he made a wish to go to the Panama rainforest “to collect insects with real entomologists so they can point out the poisonous ones.”

Make-A-Wish® Alaska and Washington partnered with Make-A-Wish® Panama to grant Alexander’s once-in-a-lifetime wish. 

Alexander’s trip was filled with life-changing experiences, such as operating the gates of the Panama Canal, having a newly discovered sweat bee – Augochlora Alexanderi – named after him, collecting insects on the exclusive Barro Colorado wildlife research island, and catching his prized Blue Morpho butterfly. Make-A-Wish even made special arrangements to get all 400 of the insects Alexander collected back home through customs.

Upon returning home from his trip, Alexander called his trip his “life wish.”

Living the wish

Twelve years after his wish, Alexander is now a healthy 21-year-old, studying environmental science at Central Washington University. “I realized I wanted to protect the insects and biological life that I was always interested in when I was younger,” he said.

Alexander’s family was also deeply impacted by his ‘life wish,’ and still looks back on their trip fondly today. “His wish trip remains the greatest trip our family has ever taken,” said his mom, Lisa. “It was such a unique experience and we continue to keep in touch with friends in Panama today…hoping we might be able to return to see them again.”

Alex still enjoys collecting insects, and his freezer is lined with bugs waiting to be pinned. According to his mom, he has always had a special spot in his heart for “looking out for the little guy.”
  • Alexander's wish, granted in 2001, continues to influence his life today.

  • Alexander heads to the great outdoors with the entomology team to discover bugs!

  • A proud catch.

  • Alexander experienced a variety of wildlife on his trip to Panama. Here he is with an iguana.

  • All suited up and ready for a bug adventure!

  • Since his wish, Alexander has continued to add to his collection.

  • Today, Alex has is an avid outdoorsman, studying environmental science at Central Washington University.

I realized I wanted to protect the insects and biological life that I was always interested in when I was younger. ”

— Alexander, 2001 wish recipient

Join the conversation

This story makes me feel

Leave a Comment


Stay in the Know!

Receive the latest news and updates with our Wish of the Month eNews delivered right to your inbox.

Sign up for e-News

Search for Stories that Matter to you

Join the conversation

Leave a Comment

You might also be interested in ...

Gabbi , 14

Goldenhar Syndrome

I wish to be a model

How my wish impacted my life

Cullen , 13

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and Severe Pulmonary Lung Disease

I wish to meet Felix Hernandez

Home run! Cullen Catches Up with Felix Hernandez

Leah , 11

chronic myelogenous leukemia

I wish to go to Walt Disney World® Resort

Leah's Wish In 1988 Continues to Inspire Her To Give Back
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
Yellow Flag Bldg #207
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