Now 23 years old, wish recipient Shelbi reflects on her sunny vacation to California in 1999 when her wish to meet her favorite celebrities came true.
When Shelbi turned four years old, her world flipped upside down when doctors diagnosed her with leukemia. Shelbi’s family was in and out of the hospital for two-and-a-half years as Shelbi fought against the disease.
But through this dark time, Shelbi kept her positive glow by staying up to date with all the latest TV shows and movies – especially those starring her favorite celebrities. So when Shelbi was given the opportunity to make a wish, her choice was easy.
“I remember when my wish granters came to me there was no hesitation. I had to meet my favorite celebrities,” she said.
The community came together to fulfill Shelbi’s wish. Bright-eyed and filled with excitement, Shelbi flew to California to watch the filming of a television series starring her two favorite celebrities. Shelbi had backstage passes and met the entire cast including her childhood idols.
“Going through such a difficult process and having these positive interactions really brought light and made me forget all the bad things I was going through,” said Shelbi. “It was definitely one of the happiest moments of my life.”
Seventeen years later, Shelbi is cancer-free and working as a barista. Her wish experience remains a source of positivity in her life, ultimately encouraging her to join the volunteer team at Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington.
Shelbi is now an active wish-granting volunteer and loves fulfilling the wishes of other children that are in the same place she was once in. “When I volunteer, I am just as happy as I was when I was getting the wish,” said Shelbi.
Shelbi’s volunteer experience is another chapter in her story of fighting life-threatening medical conditions. She finds joy in helping children know that no matter what they are going through, they deserve the opportunity to accomplish their dreams.
Shelbi’s strength was heightened from knowing her wish would come true, and she enjoys bringing that strength to other kids, as well. She has developed life-long relationships with her wish-granting partners, and invites others to become part of the Make-A-Wish community.
“There aren’t any other places that do what Make-A-Wish does. It’s all about teamwork – when you get involved, you become part of the team.”
The community of Make-A-Wish is far-reaching, and we want you to be a part of this amazing network of volunteers, businesses, and donors. We are particularly in need of volunteers in Alaska and Eastern Washington. Sign up today!