For eight-year-old Luke, his wish was much more than a trip to his favorite theme parks. His wish was a celebration of his strength and all that he has overcome.
Luke was diagnosed with a heart disease before he was born. He had two open-heart surgeries, a diaphragm surgery, heart catheterizations and multiple other hospitalizations at a young age. He’ll have at least one more open-heart surgery in his lifetime.
But for five beautiful days, all of the procedures, surgeries, disappointments and pokes couldn’t compare to the joy Luke’s family experienced when his wish came true.
Luke’s mom heard about Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington from another parent. As soon as she found out more, she was so excited. “For him, there are so many things we have to say no to,” Jesse said. Luke’s wish gave him a chance to dream.
Thanks to generous people like you, Luke and his family flew to California. They rode all the rides, explored the parks and met characters. They swam and shopped, and enjoyed spending time as a family.
“It was a full, wonderful, laughter-filled wish, and we couldn’t be more grateful,” said Jesse.
At each turn, Luke and his family were celebrated. “Every time you turn around there’s someone who wants to go that extra mile to make that kid feel like the king of the world,” said Jesse. “To see him feel elevated when so many of his days he’s not was very, very cool.”
After returning home, Luke hasn’t let his wish fade into a distant memory. His wish has become a tool, a reference point, from which his family draws strength.
“Luke’s wish has given us a way to walk through his story from his heart surgeries and connect that for him,” said Jesse. “To feel like there’s purpose behind some of the suffering he’s gone through, to feel like you’re not alone and that people really care about these kids.”
And Luke’s wish will continue to be a big part of his life. “The experience tells him he’s special, that he’s not broken,” said Jesse. “It says, ‘we’re going to celebrate you for who you are and what you’ve gone through, no for what you don’t have.’”
You can give kids like Luke strength when you donate your unused airline miles. It’s a great way to make a difference in the lives of local kids at no cost to you.
Special thanks to Adopt-A-Wish® sponsor Wells Fargo and wish-granting volunteers Deb Then and Navkiran Randhawa.