Ten days before her first day of middle school, Avery was diagnosed with brain cancer. She knew it was going to be difficult, but Avery also knew she would fight really hard to beat it.
During her year-long battle with cancer, Avery spent over 100 nights in the hospital. She didn’t want to miss a moment of school and tried her hardest to make class during the day and have radiation treatments at night. Still, she missed many days of school and the day-to-day experiences of being a kid.
Her perseverance and unwavering love of life spread to her family during her treatment.
"Avery is by far the strongest, most impressive person I’ve ever met,” said her mom, Kristie. “She has always been such a positive kid in a way that I’m not. I’ve always loved and looked up to her in that way. It’s a gift to have that person be my daughter.”
It was during treatment that Avery found out she would receive a wish. “Her wish served as a beacon of light through so many nights of darkness,” said Kristie.
Wishes provide hope and so much more. Research shows, and physicians agree, a wish can help improve a child’s quality of life and produce better health outcomes. These life-changing wishes replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.
Through all of their worry-filled nights, Avery and her family would dream about what she could do or see or be with the support of Make-A-Wish. Ultimately, Avery followed her love of theater and decided she wanted to see a play on Broadway.
Avery and her family had a whirlwind week in New York. They saw the Museum of Natural History, went on a tour of the city, rode a carriage through Central Park, saw sweeping views of the city from the top of the Empire State Building, and most importantly, saw a show on Broadway.
"My wish was an amazing end to an incredibly rough chapter in our lives and an even better start to this new one,” said Avery.
Avery and her family are ever grateful for all that you have done for them.“It’s really special for us to know that we are so loved and that there is a light even when it seems so dark; and there are people supporting us and holding us up. It’s truly amazing,” she said.
Can you help other kids like Avery?
Right now, 80 percent of wishes involve travel. Can you help? Donate your frequent flier miles during our Wishes in Flight® mileage drive with KOMO News on August 2. You can make big difference in the lives of local wish kids and their families—and it doesn’t cost you a dime!
*Shoshani, A. Mifano, K. Czamanski-Cohen, J. (2015). The effects of the Make a Wish intervention on psychiatric symptoms and health-related quality of life of children with cancer: a randomized controlled trial. Quality of Life Research, 25(5), 1209-1218. doi 10.1007/s11136-015-1148-7