From beautiful beaches to colorful luaus, 9-year-old Abbey experienced some of what Hawaii has to offer, thanks to Make-A-Wish® Oregon. Abbey spent five days in the land of paradise with her family. It all began with a fresh lei greeting, which helped set the stage for a vacation of a lifetime. From there, it was a day spent playing on the warm sand, snorkeling, and exploring the streets of Waikiki. Abbey even made friends with two macaws who sat on her shoulder and arm for pictures. The family also got to enjoy a day at the popular Polynesian Cultural Center and SeaLife Park, where she saw dolphins, penguins and sea lions. Abbey’s parents said the entire family had a fantastic time and that everything was perfect.
When 12-year-old Brigit had the opportunity to make her one-true-wish, there was no question what it would be. She wanted to meet her favorite, red, furry monster - Elmo! Make-A-Wish Oregon made some calls, and Elmo flew all the way from Sesame Street to Portland just to meet Brigit and her family at her home in Milwaukie. Brigit was diagnosed at birth with Cerebral Palsy and is non-speaking. Along with hand gestures, and movements, she uses a special communicator device to express herself. Prior to Elmo's big arrival, Brigit put together a few special messages to convey her thoughts. She introduced herself, "my name is Brigit" and several times throughout the visit, she pressed the button to communicate, "I am so excited to finally meet you" and "I love you!" Even without her messages, it was obvious to all that she was overjoyed at having her wish granted. Well, the feeling was mutual and as Elmo told Brigit on more than one occasion "Elmo LOVES Brigit!" As Brigit and Elmo spent time together, Elmo lavished love and affection on the child who has long found comfort in this character. Her mom noted that on days when Brigit was getting upset or having trouble relaxing, they always knew that if Elmo was on, she would calm down. There was no shortage of hugs and giggles as Elmo sang songs, gave her autographed pictures, and showered her with special Sesame Street gifts selected just for her. For Brigit and her family her wish was a dream come true and the memories will last a lifetime. Elmo would agree they are friends for life.
After a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Adeline’s days became filled with hospital visits with little time left to run and play. When Make-A-Wish® came into Adeline’s life and asked her to pick just one heartfelt wish, the decision was easy and involved not just Adeline, but her family and neighbors as well.
When asked what she wanted for her wish, Adeline did not hesitate. Her one true wish was to have a play structure, so she could have tea parties with her sister! Adeline’s wish was granted and together with her sister’s help, the design of this magical play structure came together. There were the usual swings and slides, but Make-A-Wish volunteers and community partners made Adeline’s wish uniquely hers by presenting her with a toadstool table for tea parties and a corkscrew pole she named the “licorice pole.”
And what’s a play structure without a wish party to go along with it? On the day of her wish, all of her neighborhood friends came over to celebrate, playing and laughing with her until the sun went down. Adeline’s wish to have a play structure allowed her to forget about her sickness and enjoy life like a six-year-old should. “I want to play on my play structure for 100 years and forever,” she exclaimed.