Thirteen-year-old Jordan had been struggling for years with a rare lung disorder. It was during his care that a local pediatrician approached the family and suggested Make-A-Wish could be a bright spot in an otherwise horrible situation.
“We always knew about Make-A-Wish, but you never think it’s going to be your kid,” said Jordan’s mom Amanda as she tried to put into words the mixture of gratefulness and fear she felt when she learned that her son qualified for a wish. “It felt like it made Jordan’s illness real.”
But then Amanda realized just how many people from the community wanted to be involved in granting her son’s wish to go on a family vacation. From volunteers to donors, Make-A-Wish staff to partner organizations like Hill Barret Travel, there are literally dozens of people who pull together to make a child’s wish come true.
“For other people to be so involved, for other people to care so much that they’re willing to do that much work, it means a tremendous amount,” she said.
After so much time spent worrying over the details of Jordan’s care, they received a momentary and welcome break. “Everything was taken care of. As a family we just got to hand it all over and say here you go! Do with us what you will. It was the most amazing experience.”
Jordan wished for a warm beach vacation with his family because he wanted to spend more time with his siblings and escape the cold, dark Alaskan winter. Thanks to the support of generous donors, Make-A-Wish arranged for Jordan to travel to Mexico where the family enjoyed pool time, jet skiing, ziplining, and a four-wheel expedition through the countryside. They even got to see baby turtles hatching on the beach.
Jordan finds strength in the memories from his wish even as he continues to battle his illness, with a lung transplant evaluation on the horizon.
“I look back on my wish a lot,” Jordan said. “Just from items we picked up from there. I notice them around my room and remember all the fun stuff we did.”
More than 80 percent of children wish to travel, like Jordan did. Once this is pandemic is over, we will have an unprecedented number of children waiting to travel again. How quickly we can grant their wishes depends upon your generosity. If you have unused airlines miles, please consider donating them today!