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7 Things My Son’s Wish Trip Did for Our Family

Kyle 480
Make-A-Wish is no longer just for terminally ill children, but children with life-threatening conditions and my son, Kyle, qualifies for that. We know people might see our family with two happy children running around and wonder how we could qualify for Make-A-Wish or what we would have gotten from a trip to Disney World. With that in mind, I want to explain a few of the things that this incredible trip did for us.
  1. Before we went, it gave us something to look forward to. Through chemo, we knew we had a trip planned to celebrate an end to what we were going through. It provided hope and something positive amid immense stress.

  2. Our trip brought back silliness to our family. When going to hospitals and seeing doctors and stressing over fevers and medicines, we had forgotten how relaxing laughter can be. Our kids got to be silly and laugh, and we were able to join in.

  3. This trip gave my daughter, Katie, her brother back. He was no longer the "sick one" or the reason we couldn't do something. Instead, he was the reason she got to go places and have fun. It redefined his cancer in her mind. They played all day and night and just really enjoyed each others company... which is something that really went away this summer.

  4. It allowed us to make up for the summer we lost. We tried not to focus on what we couldn't do this summer, but there were so many things we could not do because of the chemo and not knowing how Kyle would feel. We made up every excuse possible to not blame it on the chemo, but we began running out of reasons. On this trip, we finally got to say yes to whatever they wanted to do. Kyle was feeling good and Make-A-Wish made it possible for us to let our kids just have fun and to let us say "yes" to whatever they asked for.

  5. It gave Kyle confidence. Although he was shy around pretty much every character he met, we also saw him do something new. At a Halloween party at Give Kids the World, where we stayed, they allowed the kids to say what they wanted to be and walk a "cat walk" type thing. Kyle voluntarily told a hostess he was a race car driver and he walked back and forth on a "red carpet." This might not seem like much, but for a child who had become timid around all strangers (because he was afraid they were doctors who would hurt him) and didn't like to be the center of attention, this was a huge step. Toward the end of the trip, he knew that he was the "special" one and he proudly walked into rooms like he owned the place. This brought us such joy.

  6. One of the greatest things... we were able to see smiles on our little boy's face... so many smiles. He had so much fun and was so happy just to have time together with our family.

  7. Make-A-Wish Illinois and Give Kids The World gave us our family back. We had become consumed by treatments, medicines, side effects, scans, and what-ifs. Kyle is not out of the woods completely yet, but this trip reminded us to laugh with each other, love each other wholeheartedly, and enjoy each day together. And we are so very grateful for that.

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Make-A-Wish® Illinois
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Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 602-9474
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