Every time five-year-old Mazie sees a tiger these days, she calls it Mik. “Look, there’s Mik,” she would say. Mik is short for Mikhail, the male Amur tiger at the Oregon Zoo. The two met recently while on Mazie’s wish to be a zookeeper, where she helped feed the lions, tigers and leopards; checked for eggs in the penguin nests; played with Mochica the penguin; and even painted an original artwork with the tail of Neka the lion.
Mazie’s dad says she deserves such a special wish, because at age five, she’s already been through so much. He explained that the wish experience has played a part in her recovery. “It definitely did something for her spirit - just judging from her attitude, the way she talks about [her wish granters] and knowing that people outside her family cares about her and will do things like that for her.”
Leslie has always been a big fan of comicon and anime, but she was never able to fully participate in a convention because she didn’t have any outfits. So when Make-A-Wish asked her wish was, it was no surprise that she wanted a cosplay wardrobe. On her 14th birthday, Leslie's wish came true in grand style. A Portland designer created five outfits based on Leslie’s favorite characters. Members of the comicon and cosplay community came out to celebrate her wish at a party and fashion show at The Benson Hotel.
Leslie loved the outfits and said that she was very happy.
When six-year-old Eloise and her family moved into their home in Portland a couple years ago, she and her dad talked about getting a playhouse for the backyard. However, when she was diagnosed with leukemia, all attention turned to making her healthy again. So when Make-A-Wish volunteers asked Eloise for her one true wish, it was no surprise that she wished for a playhouse.
It wasn’t just any playhouse. Eloise had very specific ideas on what it should include – a loft for her to relax in, a reading nook downstairs and a separate area for arts and crafts. With such a detailed blueprint, Make-A-Wish needed some experts. R&H Construction answered the challenge. They worked with local architect Doug Minarik to come up with a design that would fulfill Eloise’s wish.
“Eloise doesn’t just like it, she loves it!” says her mom, Alison. “It’s good to see the happiness in her. She deserves it. She’s over the moon.” Her dad says it’s perfect for her in every possible way. That’s because she loves to play make-believe with her little sister, Margot. Now they have a place of their own to play to their hearts’ content.
Eight-year old Landin has cystic fibrosis. A machine wrapped around his chest each day helps make him feel better. But what makes Landin happy are Legos. The building blocks helped him get through all those lengthy and grueling hospital stays. So when Make-A-Wish asked him what was his one true wish, his answer was simple: to go to LEGOLAND in California. Landin says his favorite part of the trip was meeting a Master Lego Builder, who made a replica of Landin and his sister Caitlin. So if you go to LEGOLAND and look for one particular ship, you just might see Lego-sized Landin and Lego-sized Caitlin enjoying their Make-A-Wish trip.
“Mom, they’re real!” exclaimed Kirra, 4, after meeting Peter Pan and Wendy on her wish to go to Disneyland® Resort. For a little girl who loves Disney movies and all of their characters, going to Disneyland was a wish-come-true.
Kirra, her parents and her baby sister enjoyed a five-day, four-night trip to the Magic Kingdom. There, she met Mickey and Minnie, Daisy, Goofy, Jasmine, Ariel, Snow White, Belle, Jessie from Toy Story 2, Donald Duck, Rapunzel and many more. When asked which character was her favorite, she said it wouldn’t be fair to pick just one.
Kirra’s mom, Joey, said her favorite part of the trip was watching Kirra have fun. “Disney is a magical place for anybody,” she said, “but watching her enjoy herself and seeing the magic through her, it made us kids, too. We were kids for a week.” Joey said the trip was like a weight off her shoulders because she didn’t have to worry about doctor’s appointments or medications for Kirra’s leukemia. “It was just a little bit of normalcy to be able to enjoy ourselves.”
To this day, the wish experience continues to impact the family. Kirra still talks about it and sometimes asks her mom when they plan to go back. For her mom, it’s the memories of time spent together as a family – memories that she says they wouldn’t be able to have without Make-A-Wish.
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