Genie in a bottle

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Years ago, I watched a video produced by The Onion that reported on a little boy battling Leukemia.  The "story" was that the 8 year-old kid wished for unlimited wishes, and because the Make-a-Wish Foundation cannot say no to any qualifying child, this patient was granted so many over-the-top trips and lavish toys and other expensive opportunities, that he forced the Foundation into bankruptcy.

Videos like this used to be funny. 

(Okay okay, you got me, I can still appreciate a little cancer humor.  This video does, indeed, make me chuckle.  To the person who thought of it and created it...You are creative and smart.  Oh, and you are a giant asshole...without a soul.  But I digress.)

When we found out that Ari qualified to make a wish of his own, I was confused.  Like almost everyone else, I was under the impression that wishes were reserved for kids with terminal illnesses.  The reality, however, is that any child suffering a life-threatening illness is eligible to make a wish.   

So, a few months ago, we filled out the initial paperwork and a few perky volunteers came to our home to ask Ari to tell them his wish.  Because we give him everything he wants Ari did not understand the concept of wishing, he asked for yogurt.  As you all know, Ari greatly enjoys healthy foods like green veggies and sushi.  Yogurt, however, is not, and has never been, part of his daily diet.  He won't go anywhere near a bowl of yogurt.  (This trait he must get from his dad.)

We waited, we explained, and we let him think and mature.  And then we helped him out by showing pictures of things like beaches and playgrounds and foods and famous people (kid really loves Obama...and btw, Mom would not have turned down a ticket to tonight's White House Hanukkah party), but in the end, it was the Mouse (and the big aquarium at Sea World and the fireworks and the beach and the tattoo parlors and Golden Corral) that convinced the wish granters that he would have an incredible time at Disney World.

Unoriginal?  Yes. 

But hey, we can't all be BatKid.

And like magic (kingdom), the amazing people at Make-a-Wish began working to fulfill Ari's ultimate want.  Yesterday, we received the dates and draft itinerary and today, I started to get excited!  This will be our first family-of-four vacation ever.  It gives us something really fun to look forward to after we survive the coming months of cold and colds.  And, can you believe it, will get us pretty darn close to the conclusion of these two years of treatment.  3 1/2 months until Disney.  Then 3 1/2 months until the end of chemotherapy (and steroids).

Coincidentally, tomorrow is National Believe Day.    All you (or any kid you know) has to do is mail a letter to Santa and $1 will be donated to Make-a-Wish. 

The mission of Make-a-Wish is "to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.”  I am so appreciative of the work of this organization and am really looking forward to the planning and the packing and then the photographing (and therefore Facebook posting) of our smiles and laughter and fun.  We will swim and play and ride and fly and explore and shop and monorail and dream.

Do you think I'd do away with all this cancer stuff and give the trip up in a heartbeat?

I wish.


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