It takes a village to grant every wish. 2017 wish recipient, Shay, knows this firsthand. She still remembers the day she met her wish-granting volunteers. Shay’s mom Colleen says, “Not only did they enter our home to talk about wishes, they entered our hearts forever.”
That’s the power of the community behind wishes.
Before birth, Shay was diagnosed with Heterotaxy syndrome, a rare birth defect that resulted in a severe congenital heart defect and other challenges with internal organs including a compromised immune system. Wish mom Colleen says, “It hasn’t always been easy, but this is our normal life.”
In 2017, Shay’s wish to meet the cast of her favorite movie came true. Not only was the experience a chance to step away from doctor appointments, procedures, blood draws and hospital stays, it gave Shay a chance to experience hope and a stress-free week.
Wish mom Colleen says, “Experiencing the good-heartedness of so many strangers during Shay’s wish trip truly restored our faith in humanity… Make-A-Wish gives kids something that medicine simply cannot. Kids like Shay also need hope and wings to fly.”
Shay’s wish was so transformative that she immediately wanted to help grant wishes to other children with critical illnesses in her community.
That’s how Shay came up with the idea to partner with her friends to create a lemonade stand fundraiser to benefit future wish children.
They started the tradition in 2018 and expected to raise a few hundred dollars when they sold lemonade, Sno-cones, and baked goods on a local street corner in Pullman, Washington.
It turns out, the community LOVED the idea, and they came out in droves. The first year of the fundraiser, Shay and her friends raised over $4,000 to benefit Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington. One year later, they nearly doubled that at their second annual fundraiser. They even inspired some good local competition between the Police Department and the Fire Department to see which organization could raise the most funds.
We’re thankful to Wish Family Alumni like Shay who inspire others in the community to grant future wishes.
We’ve long heard from wish kids like Shay that they want to stay involved after they’ve received a wish.
Whether hosting lemonade stands, becoming wish-granting volunteers, or sharing stories from the wish itself, we LOVE hearing from wish families.
Have you received a wish or know someone who has? Tell them about our Wish Family Alumni program.
To get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org