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Tennessee Getaway Brings Smiles

Logan's Tennessee Trip

“ Very awesome. ”


- Logan

The thoughtfulness of Make-A-Wish volunteers can add an important, caring dynamic to a child's wish journey. Logan's wish granters made sure he felt the compassion of the community throughout his wish planning and beyond.

18-year-old Logan comes alive when he hits the water. He loves swimming anywhere at any time, so when his family found out he qualified for a wish, the decision was simple.

Logan was diagnosed with epilepsy at birth and is also on the autism spectrum. Between the ages of four and five he lost most of his language because of the epileptic syndrome. Before he turned nine, on his worst days he would have 30 seizures in one day. His condition was so severe, Logan had a hemispherectomy, a rare surgical procedure where one side of the brain is disconnected or removed.

“We love a half a brain versus a full brain on Logan,” Logan’s mom Renee said. “When we tell people [about his surgery], they’re like ‘Aww’ and I’m like ‘No, we love it, we do.”

When one of Renee’s co-workers connected Logan’s family to Make-A-Wish, she was originally skeptical that he would have a wish granted.

“I always assumed with Make-A-Wish it was, I hate to put it this way, but it seems like it’s for people who are kind of on their death bed,” Renee said. “And it was somebody at work who actually submitted his name to Make-A-Wish and I was like, ‘Oh no he’s fine because he’s not on his death bed.’”

Once they found out that Make-A-Wish is for kids with critical illnesses like Logan’s seizure disorder, the DeCamp’s were “overwhelmed.” Logan always enjoyed seeing his Make-A-Wish volunteers Mark Frieders and Tracy Rhoades Frieders throughout the planning process.

“Every time Tracy and Mark would come over, he’d be all excited because somebody new is coming,” Renee said. “Those kinds of things excite him in the moment, but you can’t explain it to him.”

Mark and Tracy enjoyed Logan just as much as he enjoyed them. While they couldn’t always communicate, they formed a connection through interactive books they knew Logan liked.

“His family is just absolutely amazing and they’re such good people,” Tracy said. “His mom told us that he likes music and books you can push buttons on and we found a Leapfrog type book that he seemed to really enjoy. He always had a big smile.”

Tracy said that Renee had ideas on what Logan would like when they first met. Logan’s parents weren’t able to explain the details of the Make-A-Wish process to Logan or ask him what he wanted his wish to be, but they know the things that make him the happiest.

“If I could just show you a video of how excited he is in the water, he just jumps and splashes and just goes and goes,” Renee said. “He could be in 5 feet and he’s happy with that amount of water, as long as he’s just in the water.”

They decided a visit to The Wilderness Indoor Water Park in Tennessee and Dollywood for Logan’s wish would be something he would really enjoy and remember.

Logan's Tennessee Waterpark Adventure“Knowing how much he loves the water, that was just kind of a no brainer,” Renee said while Logan can be heard in the background asking to go to the pool.

“There you go; he wants to go in the pool. Proof right there,” Renee laughed.

Logan and his family enjoyed their time splashing around at the water park and going on rides at Dollywood and are still grateful for the experience.

“We probably wouldn’t have done it on our own. We’ve gone away for a night or two before, but just having that extra support to be gone that long was nice,” Renee said. “We didn’t have to worry about anything and it was a carefree time. It was pretty awesome.”

Once he hears his mom’s words, Logan echoes her sentiments with his own little cheer in the background: “Very awesome.”

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