"It's all for the kids. It means everything to have a kid smile."
That's why since 2011, Kim and his wife Cintia have joined the monthly giving program, continuously financially supporting the granting of children's wishes for almost seven years.
Kim has a very close connection to Make-A-Wish Illinois: in 2001, his son Ryan was granted a wish just like every child they are currently supporting.
During a tough round of chemo for Ryan's diagnosed osteosarcoma, Ryan was referred for a wish.
"We knew of Make-A-Wish before that point, and we had a feeling that Ryan was going to be given one," said Kim. "Of course, I knew exactly what he was going to wish for."
Ryan loved computers. While his diagnosis took a lot out of him both physically and emotionally, Ryan found joy in computers, and since it was the early 2000s, "everybody was into computers at that time." So that's why he wished to meet the man who founded the biggest computer software company in the world: Bill Gates. In 2001, Ryan, Kim, his mother Sally, and his sister Megan left for Seattle to meet the head of Microsoft. While there, Bill Gates even gave Ryan a sneak peek of the new video game console, the Xbox.
"Ryan was so excited to see that video game console. He even figured out how to play it before being taught how!"
After Ryan flew home, he couldn't stop smiling. "The trip gave Ryan so much inspiration and energy" said Kim. After his wish, Ryan had a positive outlook on the future. It inspired him to push for college, as he hit the books hard, took extra classes during summer and graduated with his class. After graduating, he went to college at the University of Iowa, which is where Ryan received his treatments in high school. He completed a degree in electrical engineering, met his future wife, and the rest, they say, is history.
"Not only did the wish give him such a positive outlook on his future, it helped to shape the rest of his life."
Since then, Kim and his wife Cintia knew they had to help out.
"With all that time in the hospitals, kids should be able to do something they have always dreamed of. It's all about their smiles. All sick kids deserve to have that smile. Monthly donations are the best way to go to make sure kids get their wishes granted. You always wish you could do more, but it is the least we could do." They also donate extra in memory of friends or family members who have recently passed as well.
Kim and Cintia saw the power of a wish, and now another wish is popping in the family. Megan, Kim's daughter and Ryan's sister, is in the planning stages of her step-daughter Kyndall's wish. "Kyndall's thinking Disneyland," said Kim with a chuckle.
Donate to help give a child the gift of an everlasting wish journey by joining the monthly giving program