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Kolbe's wish makes a big splash

“ It is so incredible knowing that there are people out there that care and are willing to do something kind for you. ”

- wish mom, Johnna

Always used to standing at the edge of the water, seven-year-old Kolbe finally got the chance to jump in when you granted her wish for a swimming pool.

Diagnosed with a rare life-threatening immune system disease when she was just 15 months old, Kolbe has spent her childhood dealing with many limitations. She required daily dialysis for the five years, making simple activities like bathing or playing in the nearby river very difficult.

“It was very hard to go places because [her condition] required so much equipment and supplies,” said wish mom, Johnna.  “We never did anything without serious thought, especially if it involved water.”

During this time, Kolbe avoided water, which could cause a serious infection. She would watch from afar as her sister waded in the river or when family and friends played in their pools. “She was always wishing she too could go in the water,” said Johnna. “It was heartbreaking.”

When her doctors and family decided a kidney transplant was Kolbe’s best option, her years of standing on the edge of the water came to an end when Kolbe had a chance to make a wish. She wished to have a pool.

Lynn Van Auken from Yakima Watermill heard about Kolbe’s wish and immediately offered to donate the pool and all its equipment with the help of additional vendors.

“It was something that the little girl really wanted, so I figured that if I could help, I should,” said Lynn.

Thanks to Yakima Watermill and your generosity, Kolbe got to experience one of the greatest joys of childhood for the first time: a precursor to the changes that lay ahead with her new kidney.  

“Kolbe jumped in the pool and boom! She took to it like a fish in water,” said Johnna.

Kolbe spent the summer swimming in the pool that you helped give her. She had a pool party with her friends on her birthday and became a local celebrity as news crews came out to witness Kolbe’s wish.

“It is so incredible knowing that there are people out there that care and are willing to do something kind for you,” said Johnna. “That has to do something special to the heart of a little kid. You truly made her wish come true.”

A life-threatening diagnosis is devastating for wish kids and their families. Wishes are a way to combat that. And you help them to do that.

You can help grant more wishes like Kolbe’s by adopting a wish today! If your company or organization is interested, please contact or call 800.304.9474.

“To be able to jump in the water for somebody who always had to be on the side is incredible,” said Johnna. “Her smile says it all.”

Special thanks to Yakima Watermill, Aquatic Creations, and wish-granting volunteers Lynne Thomas and Renee Rohl. 

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Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington
811 1st Ave #620
Seattle, WA 98104
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Toll Free (800) 304-9474
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Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 258-9474
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