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Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. A wish gives children renewed energy and strength, brings families closer together and unites communities. Since 1980, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 285,000 wishes to children in the U.S. and its territories; more than 15,300 in 2016 alone.
Wish kid Zoey from Charlotte is best described as a ray of sunshine. She loves all things pink, her favorite animal is a unicorn and if given the chance, she would eat vanilla ice cream and pizza every day. At only four years-old, Zoey has courageously faced incredible hardship in her life. Being diagnosed with leukemia, she spends most of her time in doctor’s appointments and hospital visits. Through it all, Zoey fights her disease bravely and never lets her smile waver. When asked what her one-true-wish was, Zoey shared her answer without hesitation and wished to visit her best friend, Gianna, in Lake Tahoe while staying in a cabin with a hot tub.
From the moment Zoey and her family arrived at their cozy, Lake Tahoe cabin, they couldn’t believe they were finally there, and that the wish was happening! The incredible house was complete with a pool table, movie room, and of course, a large hot tub! After getting settled in at the cabin, it was time for Zoey and Gianna’s reunion.
Zoey squealed with excitement when she saw her best friend and the room was instantaneously filled with nonstop giggles and smiles! Together, they played in the snow all day long, building snowmen, making snow angels and even sledding! After a day of fun in the snow, the girls couldn’t wait to warm up in the hot tub that Zoey had been envisioning for so long! Zoey’s mom captured this moment on camera and said, “I got really emotional because the picture just captured the essence of the wish – it was exactly what Zoey had wanted to do and had been talking about.” At the end of the trip, Zoey did not want to say goodbye to Gianna, but was so happy to havespent so much time with her best friend.
The wish trip was a much needed escape from day-to-day life for Zoey and her family. After the trip, her mom said, “The trip was really special because it really lifted Zoey’s spirits. Getting to see her friend and know that she still loved her even with her short hair meant so much to her.” Now, whenever she looks at the photos, she is reminded of the incredible wish experience she shared with her very best friend. Together as a running community, we have the power to transform lives, just like Zoey's, one wish at time.
You can support Make-A-Wish by making a donation today.
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Headquartered in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world's leading children's charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 33,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 34 minutes. It has granted more than 285,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 15,300 in 2016 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at www.wish.org to learn more.