Several wish alumni go on to share the power of a wish® in their community. Some go on and become a wish granter, bringing joy and hope to children who are on their wish journey. And some find other ways to apply their skills as a way to wish it forward. Scott, after experiencing his wish, decided to offer his help at the Make-A-Wish Illinois office in Chicago as an intern.
“I never knew how much effort went into a wish,” Scott said. “Now I know, and the amount of effort and love here is significant.”
In 2011, while in third grade, Scott’s sister was in surgery for her glaucoma when doctors discovered a rare heart condition. After being tested as well, Scott learned he had Long QT syndrome. “Basically, your heart beat quickens all the time. ‘Sudden death syndrome’ is what people call it.” That meant no energy drinks, no intense heat, and, for Scott, no sports.
“Sports are my number one passion, one hundred percent,” said Scott. “I remember the cardiologist telling my dad and I that I couldn’t play sports anymore. I’ll forever remember what I told the cardiologist: ‘I’d rather die on the field then not do what I love.’ A little dramatic, but I meant it.”
After the cardiologist compromised by giving Scott a defibrillator, Scott was still able to play sports, but not as intensely as he wanted. That’s when his family was introduced to Make-A-Wish.
Scott was referred by a family-friend’s wish granter to Make-A-Wish, and while the opportunity to do something special was enticing to Scott, he felt guilty.
“I knew that the stigma for having a wish meant being terminal was incorrect, but I didn’t feel sick. I felt that in order to have a wish, you needed to be super sick, which is wrong. But I felt bad.”
Eventually Scott decided that his wish should be to go to the MLB All Star game in Phoenix, Arizona. After flying in and staying at a “beautiful hotel,” Scott had dinner with the players of the then-upcoming Futures Game, Arizona Diamondback’s players, and more.
“I was so excited, and these young players were so surprised that I knew who they were!"
Scott and his family also watched the Home Run Derby, which Scott got a baseball from, and the Futures Game, but when the MLB All-Star Game began, he was ready.
“I had a small, metal lunchbox filled with baseball cards, so every time someone walked by when I met them, I scrambled to find their card for them to sign,” Scott recalled.
It was a dream come true, and after the game, Scott and his family headed into a suite and met some of baseball’s greats: ex-MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, Hank Aaron, and even Jackie Robinson’s wife and daughter. “I couldn’t believe it.”
After his wish, Scott continued growing up like any other kid. While attending the University of Iowa, he began looking for internships when he found the Make-A-Wish Illinois position in his searches. “I had other offers, but when [Make-A-Wish] called, I dropped everything!”
What has Scott learned since interning in the marketing department? “At first I was super nervous. But I learned how much goes into a wish here. Each wish takes a community. Everyone is so appreciate and humbled of the work they do. I’ve been on the phone with fathers who have burst into tears, saying that they could never repay the happiness Make-A-Wish brought them.”
Scott has helped work with company supporters as they honor wish families and children, as well as helping with office management, preparation for our 2018 Miles Drive with WGN-TV, and more. He spends time talking with wish families to create content for multiple platforms to share the wide impact wishes have for all kinds of people.
“The work done here at Make-A-Wish is very significant. I’m very thankful.”