So, when a child becomes eligible and is granted their wish, it brings hope to more than just one person. The anticipation and optimism that a wish can bring to a kid often rubs off on the wish parent. The wish parent or caretaker can become engendered with the same hopeful spirit that fills the hearts of the children.
Take Paige, for example. Her child, Cade, had been struggling for over two years with a brain tumor. Cade dreamed of going to Paris, France, to paint the sights. However, the medical treatments were expensive, and it would have been impossible for her to imagine being able to take Cade on such a trip. Make-A-Wish made it possible for Cade and his family to visit Paris in early 2014.
Cade’s mother was clearly moved. She said, “I just feel like Make-A-Wish has changed our lives forever by giving us this opportunity as a family. Nobody in our family will ever forget this.”
After their wish was over, they continued to be involved with Make-A-Wish. Cade created artwork that was featured and auctioned for $445, raising money at the Minnesota chapter’s 2014 Wish Ball. As a family, they continue to battle Cade’s illness with the art of optimism. The courage of Paige is a testament to the indomitable spirit of all wish parents.
Wish parents have been a part of the Make-A-Wish fabric for decades. Wish parents have been bravely demonstrating their valor on behalf of wish kids since the beginning. The very first wish parent was Linda Bergendahl-Pauling. Her 7-year old son, Chris Greicius, tackled leukemia. Chris had one wish: He dreamed of being a police officer. That wish was granted with the help of numerous peace officers working together. Chris was made an honorary DPS state patrolman and was given his own battery-operated police motorcycle.
Shortly after this, Chris Grecius left this world, but his mother pressed onward. She saw how the power of a wish brought light into her son’s life. Linda used the kernel of wisdom that she gained from her son’s tragic passing, and used that to help found the organization that became Make-A-Wish. Thanks to the fortitude of this wish parent, and the thousands of other wish parents since, Make-A-Wish has gone on to grant over 250,000 wishes worldwide.
So next time you think about the courage of a wish kid, remember the wish parents and caretakers that are there fighting the good fight with them.