Cassandra is a positive and friendly seventeen-year-old girl who lives with her mom and older brother in Oak Lawn, Illinois. Cassandra stays active dribbling the basketball around her driveway at home and aiming for strikes at the bowling alley. She loves ice cream, and her favorite color is purple.
In January 2006, Cassandra was diagnosed with an immune deficiency disorder. Once a week, she must receive an IV of blood product. The routine is hard on Cassandra, whose mom wrote: “Although Cassandra tries to live an everyday normal life of any other teenager who is not sick, she suffers from the side effects of the medicine and has to be cautious of whom she is around and where she goes. She gets tired more easily and suffers from headaches.”
Cassandra’s cure for these side effects was a trip to Hawaii to see the volcanos. According to her mom, it was just what she needed: “For a whole week, Cassandra got to enjoy life and see the volcanos in Hawaii. She got to laugh, have fun and be a teenager. She was reminded that although she has all these different medical issues, she can enjoy what others enjoy and forget about all the stress of doctor appointments and the nightmares that come along with her medical condition. Hawaii was the best medicine Cassandra has ever had! [Make-A-Wish] is wonderful for all you do to help transform lives. I thank you for making my daughter’s wish come true. It lifted her spirits and gave her a whole new outlook on life!”
Eric is a witty 16-year-old who lives with his parents and brother in Orland Park, Illinois. His parents describe their bacon-loving teen as having a “big heart.” Before Eric got sick, he played volleyball and tennis, now he fills his time reading Hunger Games books; listening to Phil Collins; and watching his favorite TV show, Myth Busters.
In August 2011, Eric was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a fast-growing cancer of the white blood cells. Eric has undergone chemotherapy, but peripheral neuropathy has taken his ability to run and jump. Despite his struggles, Eric remains in good spirits and has acquired new hobbies, like computer games, to keep him busy.
When asked what his wish was, Eric eagerly announced he would like a new iMac. Eric could not believe his eyes when his new, fully loaded computer was delivered. Eric also received a new desk, a computer chair, a Bluetooth headset, a printer and a wireless base station. Now he is able to complete school work and have some fun playing some of the latest computer games.
“I am very grateful for my iMac,” Eric wrote in his thank-you note. “So far I have done many projects related to school on it. The computer made it much easier to create them. The computer helps me pass time when I’m tired out from school.”
Eric’s mom said the computer keeps him occupied when he is resting and recovering. With his new computer and gadgets, Eric is only a click away from an entire world of fun.
Niamh is a happy and laid-back 4-year-old girl from Orland Park, Illinois, who loves spending time outside. When she’s inside, she likes to pretend to cook, spend time with her favorite Disney princesses and anything to do with the color pink.
Niamh was diagnosed with a severe seizure disorder when she was only 9 months old. Despite all the various therapies, she’s restricted to walking with a walker. She still, however, remains sweet as pie and always has a smile on her face.
Niamh’s biggest wish was to go to Disney World, and Orlando, Florida, delivered clear and sunny skies as Niamh and her family pulled into Give Kids the World Village, a resort designed especially for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Niamh’s perfect trip was highlighted by meeting the Disney princesses and interacting with the dolphins at Sea World.
“Thank you so much for making our daughters wish possible,” Niamh’s mom wrote in a thank-you note. “As a young girl she has spent so much time in and out of the hospital and doctor’s appointments. What an amazing experience this was for her and the whole family. I did not know that one could say ‘fun’ so many times in one short week. She had a smile from ear to ear the entire time. This trip has forever changed not only her life, but all of our lives forever.”