Sky diving or Scuba diving? Those were the options Aidan, 10, from East Moline, weighed as he explored his options with Make-A-Wish.
In March of 2018, Aidan was diagnosed with brain tumor at Rush Medical Center. Aidan and his family were previously familiar with Make-A-Wish, so when a social worker suggested a referral to the organization, they family was open to the process.
When wish granters Amber Einfeldt and Carrel Sagon asked Aidan what he wished for, he shared his daring thoughts. Working together to discover the essence of his wish, they arrived at a SNUBA dive, a cross between snorkeling and scuba diving. Through Make-A-Wish, Aidan realized his adventurous dream during a trip to the Florida Keys.
Aidan and Jezabell, his 8-year-old sister, had never traveled by plane. When they were boarding their flight, the American Airlines pilot gave them a tour of the cockpit. It was a sure sign of the special things to come as his wish unfolded.
On the day they were set to SNUBA dive, the ocean current was pretty rough. Aidan and his family decided to give it a try, only to find the water was not calm enough to see the ocean animals. Make-A-Wish arranged for the family to try again on a calmer day, and the second time around was much better. Aidan was excited to explore the only living coral reef system in the continental United States and got the chance to see turtles, jellyfish, and bright colored coral formations.
While in the Florida Keys, Make-A-Wish also arranged excursions for Aidan and his family to enjoy parasailing and a dolphin encounter.
When asked what Aidan’s favorite part of his wish experience was, he said “I really liked the second day of SNUBA.”