Kyla’s Story

By Brian Heffron, Wish Dad

photo 2.jpgIn May 2014, while giving my daughter a bath, my wife and I noticed something odd. In addition to looking very pale, she had tiny red dots and bruises on her body. We decided to have our pediatrician check it out, but were not worried.

Twenty four hours later, Kyla was rushed to the emergency room. She was running out of blood. And what was more frightening is that the doctors were not sure why.

After weeks of transfusions and countless tests, Kyla was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia, an extremely rare disease that nearly ceases her body’s production of blood cells and causes her body’s immune system to fail to fight against even the weakest of germs. After spending the majority of half a year inpatient at our local children’s hospital, doctors informed us the treatment was not working. The only option for Kyla’s survival was a bone marrow transplant at Boston Children’s Hospital.  Continue reading

A Wish is Everlasting

By Julia Benbenek, Wish sibling

Siblings tend to have a special bond that revolves around laughs and “shhhh” when mom and dad come around. Constant happy screams, laughter and running around was always guaranteed once you walked into our house. Until one day things changed in our household. The laughs suddenly were rarely heard and everything became still.

Cancer is not an easy topic for anyone to understand, especially for kids. I was 3 and my sister, Carlie, was 7 when our older brother, Andrew, was 9 and diagnosed with medulloblastoma. We didn’t know much besides the fact that mom, dad and Andrew were never home so Grandma and Grandpa practically moved in to take care of us. We never quite understood the seriousness of Andrew’s illness but we were always pleasantly surprised when others would bring us gifts or cards that students made at school for Andrew, but the best surprise was the one that we never expected.  Continue reading

Remembering Mikey

By  Aimee McBride, Wish Mom

Five-year-old Mikey loved to play outside with his big brother Parker. He loved motorcycles, his dog “Bo,” and the color blue. After being diagnosed and treated for Wilm’s tumor, a rare kidney cancer, Mikey was given a wish. He wanted to go to Walt Disney World to meet and hug Mickey Mouse, and his wish came true in 2010. Though Mikey passed away from his illness, his family continues to celebrate his life and memory. One special way is through an annual gift and note to Make-A-Wish Central New York sent around the time of Mikey’s birthday. The McBride family’s desire is to continue Mikey’s legacy by supporting the joy-filled wishes of other children with life-threatening medical conditions. We think that’s a beautiful way to remember him and hope you do, too.

Below is this year’s letter from Mikey’s mom, Aimee, who has given us permission to share:

March 8…such a difficult day. They all are, honestly. But the birthdays, those are big…the reminder of what should have been, how old they should be, a reminder of just how much their physical presence is missed in our family. Continue reading

Team Alex and Team Make-A-Wish

By Jim McLaughlin, Wish Dad

Editor’s note: Wish Kid Alex McLaughlin, 11, is running his first Boilermaker 5K via the Charity Bib Program. This will be Alex’s first time with Team Make-A-Wish; his dad, Jim, has run with the team since 2014.

My wife Bonnie and I both started running the Boilermaker about 15 years ago. We have missed a few years here and there, but have each done several 5K’s and 15K’s. If not for the Make-A-Wish Charity Bib, we would probably both be retired from running.

Our son Alex was diagnosed on August 24, 2011 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). He completed treatment on his 10th birthday, October 24, 2014. Throughout his treatment we became aware of many different charities and fundraisers benefitting many sick children and their families. Make-A-Wish was obviously a major one that granted Alex’s wish to meet his favorite baseball team in 2012. Continue reading

Connor’s Hawaii Wish

By Connor David Stanton, Wish Kid

We left our house around 3:50 in the morning in a limo. We flew from the Syracuse airport to Newark, where we had breakfast. Then was the long flight from Newark to Honolulu, which was between 9 and 11 hours long.

Connor and family

The final flight was from Honolulu to Hilo. Once we got to Hilo, we still had an hour and 45 minute drive to get to our resort. By the time we got there, it was about 8. Our long-awaited trip had finally begun! We hadn’t eaten yet so we had dinner and went to bed. Continue reading

How Lucky We Are

By Coleen Carman, Wish Mom

March is a special month in our home as it not only includes the much celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, but it is also the month that includes our wedding anniversary and, more importantly, Patrick’s birthday on the 24th! Needless to say, it is a month full of celebrating in our family. As part of our celebrating, we want to share our joys and appreciation for all that Make-A-Wish Central New York has given our family… Continue reading

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

By Adrianna Quig, Wish Kid

Being a 17-year-old teenager growing up with heart conditions wasn’t easy. Undergoing two open heart surgeries as a baby and a third one in July 2015, I have had a much different childhood than most kids. Endless doctor visits, countless procedures and “pokes” unfortunately become normal to me and other children growing up with medical conditions.

Photo 0214Last spring I was told I was eligible for Make-A-Wish due to my rare heart condition, which I was about to get fixed. That news distracted me from my nerves and fears in the months leading up to my surgery. My wish granters made my wish-granting experience one I will never forget. The organization made me feel more at ease and gave me and my family something to look forward to during the long days in the hospital. I wished to go to Hawaii with my family and stay at the Aulani Disney Resort! The thought of going to paradise kept my mind off the other things going on. Continue reading