Four-year-old Isaac has always loved building, from Duplos and Legos to sandcastles and pillow forts.
Just shy of his third birthday, Isaac was diagnosed with Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma, a brain tumor, affecting his fine and gross motor skills, ability to chew, swallow and regulate oxygen levels.
Their lives changed almost overnight
“We went into the hospital with a kiddo who was a bit off balance and wanted to hold our hand to run. We left, three weeks later, with a kiddo who was barely walking, had trouble sitting up, and needed to be on a 24 hour watch to be safe,” said Katie, Isaac’s mom.
Matt, Isaac’s dad shares how, “Throughout the process he was amazing; he almost never complained, and did his level best to be a completely normal three or four year old. He regularly asked us why the kids were crying, and we told him that the process (accessing the port) is painful and scary for them, just like it is for him. He told us that having books and toys made him feel better, and that he would like to give the other kids toys, too.”
A wish to make other kids happy
So, he wished for a work bench to make toys for kids still in the hospital. Isaac’s been involved in every step of the way with the design team enlisted to build his custom workbench. See Cameron of Product Creation Studio work behind the scenes on Isaac’s workbench. Katie says it’s been a lifeline for Isaac as he copes with his own challenges.
Something as little as eating pizza was a turning point
“My favorite part,” said Katie, “is when we visited Cameron’s company, they provided pizza. We were still working on Isaac eating things at that point, and though we’d tried pizza repeatedly at home, he hadn’t started eating it. Competing to eat with Cameron, though, Isaac ate and finished two pieces of pizza! It makes me cry to think about it. Just one of those moments when you realize how such a little thing (taking a bite of pizza) can mean so much more.”
“We have always wanted our family to be one that is thankful for the blessings we have, and I think having a tangible way to help others, particularly those in circumstances to which we can so easily relate, will solidify that commitment,” said Matt. “I am excited to look forward to our children growing up with a spot in the house that is purely dedicated to investing time and talent to make someone else’s life just a little bit happier.”
Focusing on family time
Since Isaac’s wish was granted, he is staying constantly busy with projects and loves his workbench says Katie. “It's turning into an incredible and awesome focus for our family!” she said. Health-wise, Isaac is doing awesome. MRIs in December and March came up clear—a hopeful sign that his tumor is gone for good. A year after Isaac was referred to Make-A-Wish, he is taller, more confident, and on to his third missing tooth. And next year, it’s off to kindergarten. “I really want [Make-A-Wish] to know how much [they] have lifted our whole family's spirits and given us such an amazing way to connect with Isaac,” said Katie.
You can help make someone else’s life just a little happier too. Every year, one in four seriously-ill children in our community does not receive a wish because of a lack of funding. Your gift will help set a course to provide life-changing and transformational wishes to all qualifying children today, tomorrow and always.
Give in honor of Isaac's wish