Do you have a symbol that connects you to a special person? For Wish Mom, Marie Guthrie, it’s the Eiffel Tower and the connection is to her wonderful daughter Leah.
Marie realized there was a serious problem with Leah in January of 2013. Pathology told them it was cancer. This news began their journey through the dark, cancer tunnel for the next 13 months.
After beginning her intensive treatment, Leah got the great news that she was going to be granted a wish.
After thinking about it for a few days, she decided to choose Paris.
Paris is called the City of Lights and it truly was a light for her family. Leah was so happy and enjoyed every minute of her 8 day visit.
Her big desire was to go to the Eiffel Tower. They were able to have dinner at the tower’s famous Jules Verne restaurant.
They visited the Lovelock Bridge. It was a highlight for her, though she was disappointed they forgot to bring a lock.
The Lovelock Bridge tradition is to put a lock on this bridge then throw the key into the River Seine, and it’s symbolic that your love will last forever.
It was hard for Leah and her family to leave Paris, but they all left smiling and hoping to return someday.
Upon returning home from Paris, Leah was a new person. It was as though a cloud lifted. The tunnel wasn’t quite so dark.
A few months after her trip, a third, large tumor developed.
The cancer was too aggressive and Leah passed away February 20, 2014 – 14 months after she was diagnosed and 5 months after her Wish.
Leah's mother shared their Make-A-Wish story in front of over 1,000 guests on May 16th at Wish Ball 2015.
Before the event, we heard her share Leah's disappointment that they had forgotten to bring a love lock to the bridge that day and we knew we had to do something to help complete her wish...
The staff at Make-A-Wish Illinois reached out to our friends at Make-A-Wish France for help..
We sent them a lock to be placed on the bridge in Leah's memory.
The surprise was revealed to Leah's family at Wish Ball 2015 as a lasting symbol of her family's love and the power of Leah's wish.