On August 25, 2012, when I skydive along with the rest of the Wish Jump 2012 team, I’ll have no fear as I step out of the plane. I know that my Guardian Angel Xavier will be right there, soaring alongside of me like a true Superhero, until I land safely on the ground.
Xavier LOVED superheroes, especially Batman and Robin. Confined to the home because of his illness, his Wish was for a Batman and Robin room makeover. Not only was his bedroom made into his very own Batcave (complete with a red Bat Phone for those important calls from the Commissioner), Xavier also got to meet Batman and Robin, and spend time with them in his new room.
Just seven months later, at the age of five, Xavier ended his very courageous fight with mitochondrial disease. He earned his wings at home in his room, surrounded by superheroes, just like he wished. The family now uses his room as their family room, where they watch Xavier’s favorite Batman movies together, play games, and keep his spirit alive.
Several skydivers for Wish Jump 2012 are also Make-A-Wish Northeast New York staff and volunteers. How cool is that – jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, free falling through the air 1000 feet every 6 seconds at a speed of about 120 mph, all while raising money to grant wishes - now that’s dedication!
Meet Wish Granter, Wish Jumper, Dena Haberland…
Q. How many years have you been a volunteer Wish Granter? A. Eight years.
Q. How many wishes have you granted? A. I’m working on my fifteenth wish right now.
Q. What’s your most memorable wish granting experience? A. One (of many) memorable moments was when I tied a big red bow around an 8 week old black pug puppy and sent him up the street in a limo. The everlasting bright smile on Austin’s face when his new puppy jumped into his arms melted my heart. This was a wish that stays with Austin every day – a loving, loyal, companion!
Wishes like Dena’s come true because of the generosity of Make-A-Wish donors. If you’d like to make a donation on behalf of Dena, and help her reach her fundraising goal of $1,500, CLICK HERE.
When people ask me what it’s like to be a volunteer Wish Granter for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeast New York (MAW), I usually feel as though my explanation of the experience doesn’t do it justice. It’s the stories from the wish families that capture it best.
This past spring Wish Mom Paula Buchanan spoke at the MAW 25th Anniversary Gala about her son Brian’s wish. Usually during these speeches I sit with tears in my eyes, listening while willing the tears to stay in my eyes instead of rolling down my cheeks into the salad in front of me. But, when Paula spoke it was different. I sat wide eyed, hanging on every word. No tears, just listening with appreciation as she described the wish experience so eloquently, touching upon the various elements, or “gifts” as she calls them. When I asked Paula if she would be willing to share her speech here for the blog, she told me her words that night were not written down, rather she just spoke from the heart. Even more impressive. But she graciously agreed to put pen to paper and do a guest blog. Thank you Paula for sharing your story, and in doing so, helping others understand the power of a wish! (more…)