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Benjamin's Californian Whirlwind

Wish kid Benjamin

“ He was able to experience things he is not normally able to do. ”

In many ways, Benjamin is very much a typical five year old boy. He loves playing with LEGOs, trains, and cars. However, Benjamin has a unique story that sets him apart from your average child. Diagnosed with a heart condition at just one month old, Benjamin had to be airlifted to Lurie Children’s Hospital from his hometown of Naperville and immediately go on the transplant list. Benjamin recovered well from his transplant but his family is constantly watchful for new symptoms. Because Benjamin grew up in close connection to pediatric care his parents became familiar with the work Make-A-Wish does for children with life-threatening conditions.

Wish kid BenjaminWith the help of their wish granters the family eventually decided that a trip to San Diego would allow Benjamin to explore several of his favorite things. Make-A-Wish flew Benjamin and his family to California where they embarked on a whirlwind wish adventure. The fun began as soon as they arrived with their pirate themed room in The LEGOLAND® Hotel complete with its own treasure hunt. The family explored LEGOLAND®, rode Go Karts, and visited the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.

“That made the trip right there,” Benjamin’s dad said of the railway museum. Benjamin got a private tour where he was able to ride model trains and explore exhibits, something his father said he would never have normally been able to do on a regular family vacation. Benjamin’s memories of this trip as well as the approaching five year anniversary of his transplant are two incredible events that he can hold onto for a long time. He’s already asking when the family can go back!

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Make-A-Wish® Illinois
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