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Jack Becomes Honorary Soldier

jack and his family train with the army

“ The pure joy that all of the soldiers and officers have brought to Jack has been an amazing gift, something none of us will ever forget. ”


- Jack's Mother

Jack, 13, is a brave boy from Wilmette. Ever since he was young, Jack has been fascinated by the military, including having a military-themed birthday party when he turned six.

Not typical of many boys his age, Jack is also a cancer survivor. Jack was diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma, liver cancer, when he was four leading his childhood to be filled with hospital visits, treatments and two liver transplants. 

With the help of Make-A-Wish® Illinois, Jack was given a chance to experience his dream of being in the army. Jack and his family were flown out to Fort Lee, Virginia for a three day boot camp experience, where he received his own custom uniform as an honorary warrior. The next three days were filled with great adventure, from leading a platoon during a land navigation exercise to learning about disarming bombs; Jack was able to be fully immersed in his wish of being in the army.

“The pure joy that all of the soldiers and officers have brought to Jack has been an amazing gift, something none of us will ever forget. It’s been so much fun,” Jack’s mom said.

For Jack, this experience meant a lot after everything he has been through, “It’s been really awesome. And it’s exceeded all of my expectations and more,” Jack said.

After this experience, Jack dreams of being an engineer or ordnance soldier in the Army one day.

  • Jack's Army Wish

  • Jack's Army Wish

  • Jack's Army Wish

  • Jack's Army Wish

  • Jack's Army Wish

  • Jack's Army Wish

  • Jack's Army Wish

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  • “Perhaps it was coincidence that from the time of the wish reveal until the trip, her health improved dramatically, and that the blood counts we were watching had stabilized, but I'd like to think not. Knowing that her magical wish was coming gave her new stores of energy and joy that we didn't think possible." #hopeismedicine

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