One of four siblings, Angel is the oldest brother and likes to help his mom. When he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, his life became more about doctors and treatments than fun and family time.
Then, a child life specialist at the hospital where he was being treated introduced Angel and his family to the idea of Make-A-Wish. The possibilities seemed endless to the gregarious little boy.
“He had lots of ideas and took his time deciding,” said Karina Gallegos, one of the Make-A-Wish volunteers working with Angel’s family to discover his true wish.
Karina and wish partner Alycia Hostman got to know the family and uncovered Angel’s wish: to have his own custom car so that he could order in the McDonald’s drive-through for himself and his big sister. As Angel is a big fan of the Transformers movies and cartoons, Karina and Alycia found a way to make the car extra special with help of Radio Flyer and Dimension Designs of Glenview.
Radio Flyer donated the slick, kid-sized electric car and the team at Dimension Designs put their creative expertise to work excitedly finding ways to complete the project with special touches including custom graphics and a car horn that talks in the voice of The Transformer’s Optimus Prime.
In an interview with The Daily Chronicle of DeKalb
, Janie Westenfelder, marketing supervisor for McDonald’s Chicago region, said her team was incredibly excited to hear about Angel's wish.
“It just gave us chills when we heard his wish,” Westenfelder said. “That is the most simple and pure wish you could ever hear. We’re humbled and proud to be a part of it.”
McDonald’s employees seemed enthusiastic to make Angel’s wish day extra special, decorating the PlayPlace and temporarily shutting down the drive-through so their special guest could safely navigate his way through his order. Employees and customers alike cheered Angel as he made and picked up his order on a sunny, brisk Saturday afternoon in December.
Angel celebrated his wish with family and friends at the restaurant, where he was happy to show off his car and discuss options about the next drive through he might be visiting.