Tonight was incredible! A few weeks ago we got an invitation to be Ambassador's at The Make a Wish Volunteer Appreciation night, and I immediately said we had to do this! As a family we have been so touched by all that Make a Wish gave us when we went to Orlando in April, and I just knew we had to share our story.
We left the house tonight armed with our scrapbooks of our vacation and I had a few notes about the story of David to share. We came home with our hearts full! It is incredible to be surrounded by a group of people who give their time to make the wishes of children come true!
As soon as we arrived we were greeted by staff members of Make a Wish who immediately welcomed us and made sure we were all comfortable. All 3 of the boys were greeted with such warmth and caring, but the best part was that once again David was the star! David was asked about his trip, and he got to show off his scrapbooks. People oohed and ahhed over his pictures with Mickey Mouse, and asked him to share about his Wish trip.
People reached out to me and I got to share our story. So many people think of Make a Wish as an agency that grants wishes for children with cancer or other terminal illnesses, but they are working hard to change this misconception. Make A Wish grants the wishes of children with life altering and terminal illnesses.
David qualified for a wish due to his genetic disorder. David takes 4 anti seizure medications each day and still struggles with seizures. While seizures are not commonly a terminal condition, they have certainly altered David and cause him to struggle in so many different areas; socially, cognitively, with communication, and emotionally. For David this wish was truly a celebration of all that David deserves given all of his struggles.
Tonight as I shared our story, David's story, and then I got to share about how incredible our Make a Wish trip was my goal was to inspire these volunteers to keep volunteering. I want these wish granters to know that the work they are doing is changing the lives of children and families. In a time of challenges and struggles the wish inspires children and families to keep up the fight.
After a week for us personally full of struggles and challenges tonight was exactly what I needed. I needed to be reminded of all of the gifts that come with our struggles.
- As Matthew worked the room tonight, and greeted everyone, and all of the wish granters fell in love with him, I was reminded of Matthew's amazing strengths. He is an almost 15 year old who has a gift for making people feel special. His warmth is infectious and he makes all who meet him fall in love with his generous spirit.
- Jacob tonight was the goofball entertainment. he was the adorable little brother who made everyone laugh. As I was giving my speech Jacob was the goofball who came up to say hi to the crowd on the microphone. He was the funny munchkin doing head stands and getting people to laugh. He desperately wanted to win the raffle, and ended up not winning, but one of the winners gave him the golf balls he won anyways. (Jacob came home and immediately gave the golf balls to our neighbor next door- this is the perfect picture of who Jacob is....he will beg and beg and beg for something, and in the end he doesn't want it for himself, he always wants it so badly for someone else!)
- David was the star of the night. He smiled so hugely as people came over to greet him and talk to him. As Matthew told my mom, "his smile was bigger than I have EVER seen it!" This group of people knew how to reach David. As one of them said, "if you ask him questions he answers. We loved hearing about his trip!"
Tonight was the night that I needed at the end of a long challenging week. I needed to be reminded of our blessings and of the gifts that we can share with others. As my life has its ups and downs, tonight I will remember! My boys are rock stars and together we will support Make a Wish, an agency that is changing lives one family at a time!