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Wish Nation

How 3 Communities Empowered Local Wish Kids

Make-A-Wish Oregon, Tristan
The wind whips out Kaheem’s cape as he surveys his city. The people of Washington, DC, are in trouble – he can feel it. There are evildoers afoot! Luckily for them, they have Super Kaheem to come to the rescue.

Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic, KaheemBut Super Kaheem has not always felt so super. Like any great superhero, he has an origin story. And his involves many days in the hospital beating cancer. During his treatments, the possibility of being superhuman distracted and motivated him. He dreamed that one day, he too could be strong and capable of saving others.

The local news station helps fulfill Kaheem’s noble wishes. They transform him into a superhero with a magic potion and a green outfit with a giant K on the front. He wastes no time performing good deeds throughout DC, taking off with emergency personnel to stop the baddies. He halts crime all over town, from the Capitol Wheel to the US Capitol to the Newseum. Kaheem even stops a dastardly present heist right in the middle of the National Theatre!

At the end of the day, Kaheem receives a special award for his service: an action figure that looks just like him as Super Kaheem. He is overwhelmed with joy and asks, “Mommy, is this a dream?”

Like Kaheem, Abby wants to inspire others with her wish, but in a behind-the-scenes way.

Make-A-Wish Wisconsin, AbbyAt first, she isn’t sure what to wish for because a gastrointestinal condition prevents her from traveling outside Wisconsin. But soon, she reaches a decision – she wants to be in a video game.

The folks at Filament and McGraw-Hill Education team up with Abby and her family to bring her idea to life. They decide that she will be an original character in an educational game that will teach students about animals, one of Abby’s favorite things. Even better, the game will be distributed to classrooms all over the US. “Are you kidding me, nationwide?” Abby gasps, excited beyond belief.

Abby is involved in every step of the game design process. The artists show her concept drawings so she can approve the outfits for her character. Then, when all is said and done, she demos the game in front of a full crowd. Though Abby is shy, when she sees her character on the big screen, she breaks into a smile. “It looks just like me,” she says.

In a similar way, locals come together to make Tristan’s wish come true in Oregon.

Make-A-Wish Oregon, TristanSeven-year-old Tristan has a passion: railroads. He has loved them ever since he was a toddler when his mother got him his very first toy train. Now, his wish is to have a railroad crossing sign that he can display proudly at his home.

Though it may seem like a simple wish, it takes much more work than you might expect. Nearby specialists must make a sign the appropriate size for Tristan’s room, and of course, it must look authentic. For some extra pizzazz, locals open up Willow Creek Railroad & Museum for Tristan’s party, and a group of family, friends and neighbors gather there for the big unveiling.

“Oh, my gosh,” Tristan says when he sees the signs for the first time. He is completely flabbergasted. All this hullabaloo is just for him!

“To see others love my son enough to want to pull this off was so amazing,” says Amy, Tristan’s mom. For her, this wish is more than a railroad sign; it is a gesture that Tristan’s kidney transplant isn’t the defining moment of his life. She believes the positive memory will have a profound impact on her son as he grows old enough to fully comprehend his own resilience and the support of his community.

Community members and volunteers are essential to making any wish come true, no matter where you live. Learn how to help a local wish kid here.

About this Blog

Wish Nation gives you a behind-the-scenes look at Make-A-Wish®. See how wishes come together and how they change lives forever. Hear directly from those who work or volunteer here, or those who have been transformed by a wish. And learn why we are so committed to someday granting the wish of every eligible child, every year.

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June 25, 2012 - 11:25 AM

June 25, 2012 - 11:25 AM

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