Friday, May 17, 2013

Make a Wish Foundation

For those of you who may not know about this organization they grant wishes to children up to 18 years old who have life-threatening illnesses. 

I nominated Nicole for Make a Wish when she was about 16 years old.  Two volunteers came out and interviewed Nicole but she didn't seem thrilled about having a wish fulfilled.

It was forgotten and I didn't push her about it.  We received a letter shortly after she turned 18 regarding her wish and if she didn't respond by a certain date they would close her file. 

Her issue was she didn't have a real clear cut wish.  She isn't into actor/singers etc. that she would want to meet and since we live in Orlando there was no thrill in Disney since we have been there numerous times.  She has always wanted to go to Alaska but knew there would be many drawbacks to this.  The child's doctor must approve any and all wishes before it becomes "official". 

Nicole and I talked about it and brainstormed some ideas which she told the wish volunteer during a phone conference.  I wasn't too happy when the volunteer basically told Nicole that she didn't think they would be able to fulfill her wish. 

In January, while Nicole was in the hospital the volunteer called and left a message for Nicole.  She wouldn't talk to me, only Nicole.  I didn't check my messages right away after coming home from the hospital.  When I did I took down her name and number but procrastinated having Nicole call. I couldn't find where I had written the message and then I accidentally cleared my calls screen on my phone and I had deleted the message after I listened to it.   She never tried to call again.

In March, I sent an email to the last contact person I had with the foundation.  A couple of weeks later I got a response from the wish coordinator.  I explained to her about the volunteer calling and me losing the message, the volunteer refusing to talk to me  and the volunteer saying she didn't think they could fulfill the wish.  I got the feeling the coordinator wasn't happy about this.  Her and I set up a phone conference and I guess because I am Nicole's POA (power of attorney) they could talk to me.

The coordinator and I had a very nice phone conversation and while Nicole's second and third wish had remained the same, just the order had changed, the top wish had changed.  Make a Wish requires that you have three wishes in order of importance in case one or two can't be fulfilled because of doctor's refusal or Make a Wish isn't able to grant it. 

One of Nicole's best friend's is an online friend who is the same age as her and lives in Maine.   They met through a mutual friends website that was about Lilo and Stitch and drawing and animation about 4 - 5 years ago when Nicole was first starting to get computer access.  Over the last three years though they have become very close.   They text ALL day long and talk on the computer and skype. Her number one wish was to meet him in person.  The coordinator thought that this was a doable wish but she would have to get back to me and let me know after she spoke with her supervisor.  Once she spoke with her supervisor she contacted me and told me that it was doable and that the supervisor thought it was an awesome wish.  They have never fulfilled this type of wish before. 

The next step was to decide how this was going to happen and to have Nicole's friend (Shayne) agree to this and sign the necessary paperwork.  While we still don't have all the details hammered out we do have a date for the wish which will be July 9th - July 13th and we do know that Shayne will be flying to Orlando from Maine and we will be staying in a hotel.  All that has been really planned is the flight has been booked and I believe they will go to a Disney park one day and I think they are going to set up an art class for Nicole to take with Shayne (he's not an artist).  Nicole also wants him to come to our house to meet our dogs etc.  I'm sure it will all come together in June. 

Nicole and Shayne both are so excited to be meeting each other.  Nicole worries about having to get her site changed around this time and ruining her wish but I will do everything in my control to not let this happen.  The smile she has on her face when she talks about her wish is just priceless.  Once we have all the details of the wish I will do an update.

My only concern is that Nicole is really bad with goodbyes and I hope that she will be able to handle saying goodbye when it is time for him to go home.  I am so grateful to Shayne for being such a good friend to Nicole and being there for her during her diagnosis and her illness.

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