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Toledo BIG Wish Gala - The Momillennial

$180,000. 22 wishes granted. That was the outcome of last night’s BIG Wish Gala for Make-a-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. In a matter of two hours, they were able to get almost halfway to their regional goal of 50 wishes. How amazing is that?

One Moment Changes Everything: Toledo BIG Wish Gala Recap

$180,000. 22 wishes granted. That was the outcome of last night’s Big Wish Gala for Make-a-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. In a matter of two hours, they were able to get almost halfway to their regional goal of 50 wishes. How amazing is that?

I have to say, when I recieved an email with an invitiation to the Big Wish Gala, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After attending, I can say that last night put so much into perspective for me as a parent. So often we take our lives and the lives of our children for granted. We hear these stories of sick children, but we tell ourselves “No way, not my kid.” What we sometimes forget is that we aren’t in complete control of our lives. Sometimes God (or whichever higher power you prefer) has different plans than what we hope and yes, when this happens, more often than not, it’s difficult.

This is where Make-a-Wish comes in. If you follow me on Instagram then you know I’ve posted about Make-a-Wish over the last few days and how wishes create a positive impact on the lives of Wish Kids and their families. Last night, Make-a-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana’s President and CEO Doug Kelly said something that really stood out to me. When a child gets sick, he said “Make a Wish comes in like a first responder.” This may seem weird, but judging by the impact granted wishes have on children and their recovery, this statement couldn’t be more relevant.

During the gala, we were treated to a video interview with Dr. Anup Patel, Section Chief of Pediatric Neurology and Director of the Complex Epilepsy Clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Columbus). Dr. Patel has been conducting extensive research on the power a wish has on a child’s recovery. We were told the story of a boy named Dae-Shaun. He has a critical form of epilepsy and wished to meet his favorite basketball player. After returning home from his wish trip and meeting with Dr. Patel later on, Dae-Shaun shared that he hadn’t had a seizure since before he left for that trip. You cannot deny the power of a wish after hearing Dae-Shaun’s story, you just can’t.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, Doug Kelly also shared the story of a girl he met who had a massive brain tumor and was given a 0% (YES ZERO PERCENT) chance to live. She wished to get out of her hospital room and visit the most beautiful place in the world. She and her family ended up going to Tahiti and when they arrived back home, doctors ran tests and found that her tumor was literally SHRINKING. It was now operable, albeit risky. She is now happy and healthy and living her best life.

While these stories were undoubtedly powerful, I think perhaps the most powerful and emotional part of the night was hearing the story of Wish Kid Hannah. Her mother, Karen, got up on stage and told us the story of how her daughter got sick and what her goals and dreams are. Hannah wants to go to med school and become a doctor however, she struggles with an illness that triggers severe anaphylaxis when exposed to several different stressors and they never know when she could have an attack. Despite this incurable illness and being behind almost one year in high school, she has enrolled in college and is currently on a pre-med track. She holds a 4.0 GPA in both high school and college. The fact that Hannah has the passion and drive to follow her dreams despite her sickness fuels enough inspiration for all of us.

Hannah’s story really struck at my heartstrings as her mother was telling it. As a mom, I couldn’t help but think about what would happen if it were Zolie in that position and it was at that moment when I realized that we can never take life for granted. We need to cherish the moments with our children. We need to learn to live for each day instead of trying to plan out our entire lives. We need to spend more time with our little ones and connect with them through positive experiences. We need to hug them a little longer and tighter and we need to help make a difference in the lives of others. Are you with me?

About this Blog

Wish Blog gives you a behind-the-scenes look at Make-A-Wish®. See how wishes come together and how they change lives forever. Hear directly from those who work or volunteer here, or those who have been transformed by a wish. And learn why we are so committed to someday granting the wish of every eligible child, every year.

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