In 1983, 7-year-old Patrick was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma cancer. Wishing Star was a newly founded organization, with only 3 wishes having been granted. Patrick passionately wished to go to Disneyland. In May 1984, just after his 8th birthday, his parents, two brothers and baby sister joined him on his wish trip to California.
It has been over 30 years since Patrick’s wish. Sadly, Patrick passed away only 9 days after returning from his wish trip. This Fall, Wishing Star had the opportunity to reconnect with Patrick’s parents and sister over lunch. Patrick’s parents, Floyd and Nancy, shared how much of an impact the wish still has on their family all these years later. They shared how Disneyland had opened the park just for them so they could have breakfast with the characters. Patrick was able to ride on his favorite attraction – Pirates of the Caribbean – over and over again. Wishing Star even had a plane lined up at the local military base in case Patrick needed to be transferred home in an emergency. Even through all the pain, Patrick had an amazing time on his wish and would not stop talking about it to anyone who would listen.
Patrick’s sister, Marissa, shared how much meeting with Wishing Star 30 years later meant to their family. “Thank you so much for the opportunity to reconnect and share our memories; it was wonderful! The work you do is so important and touches so many people….for a lifetime! We are feeling grateful, blessed, and very, very FULL!”
Since Patrick’s wish to go to Disneyland, 1,244 other children with life-threatening conditions have received the power of a wish. “It is really heartwarming to reconnect with a family whose lives we touched over 30 years ago,” stated Brittany Bergsson, Development Director. “You know that your investment in Wishing Star is important and makes a difference, but to have a family, after 30 years, continue to express how thankful they are to our organization– it just goes to show that your donation toward a wish is not just 7 days in Disneyland. Your donation is a lifetime of memories and happiness.”
As of December 2014, Wishing Star has 13 children in the process of having their wishes granted. The impact of a wish is something that will remain long after the holidays are over. This holiday season, you have an amazing opportunity to help change the life of a child and their family– forever. We need your help to make sure that EVERY child receives the magic of a wish. Please consider changing a child’s life and making a donation today.