Wishing Star Helps Increase the Quality of Life

SHAWN GUST/Press Carla Schauer and her 12-year-old son Abe, who has Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease, laugh together while visiting Tuesday in their Post Falls home.  Local businesses worked together through the Wishing Star Foundation to donate a central air and heating system to the Schauer's, which will allow Abe to be in other rooms in his home.

Many people don’t realize how hard it can be to navigate the world around them until they or someone they care for suffers from a life-threatening illness. Activities like entering and exiting a vehicle, getting into bed, going on walks, participating in family activities, and breathing quality air are a constant struggle for several of our Wishing Star families.

Wishing Star aims to make life easier for these people by increasing their quality of life. In fact, 1 in 5 of our Wishing Star families has been granted a wish that eases their daily struggles. Many of our children face life-long disabilities such as cerebral palsy or epilepsy. While a trip to Disneyland might not appeal to a child who is non-verbal and confined to a wheelchair, the gift of a van ramp so she can more easily leave the house with her family could make an enormous impact.

Twelve-year-old Abe suffered from a rare neurological condition (Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease) tBirthdayhat prevented him from regulating his body temperature. In the warmer months, this condition was a struggle for Abe as his house did not have central air conditioning. His family’s wish was for him to have an air conditioning unit installed in the home. Abe had a wall unit in his bedroom at the time, which confined him to that one room of the house, away from the rest of his family. They wanted him to be able to spend time with them in the other living areas of the home. Being with his family in the main house was necessary to increase the family’s quality of life, and Wishing Star was proud to help grant their wish. You can learn more about Abe in this YouTube video.

If you’d like to make life a little easier for children like Abe, please click the button below to make a secure online donation. Thank you for your support!

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Wishing Star Supports a Sense of Community

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One of the many troubling aspects of having a child diagnosed with a life-threatening illness is the feeling of isolation.

Depending on the scope of the illness, parents find themselves lost in a flurry of doctor’s appointments, medical consultations, physical therapy sessions, and the never-ending task of wrapping their minds around their current situation. Friends and family struggle with finding ways to comfort their loved one, and the parents struggle with relating to those around them.
Maddie 4brightenedThen the day comes when the child is referred to Wishing Star. Through the loneliness and isolation, a beacon of light appears. The parents meet with people who understand, people who can nod knowingly when they express frustration, people who can sense the tears are coming and have a box of tissues ready. These supportive people aren’t just Wishing Star employees; they are other families who are going through (or have been in) similar circumstances. These supportive people provide one another with a sense of community.

Through private gatherings and public events, our wish grantees support each other. Many give back to Wishing Star in other ways, whether it be volunteering at events or attending our fundraisers. Many more stay in touch years after their wish has been fulfilled.

Kim, whose daughter Maddie received a wish several years ago, had this to say: “Our hearts and lives were touched so deeply by the Wishing Star staff’s generosity that they have Cookie Decoratingbecome family. My husband now sits on the Wishing Star board. Our middle daughter, Cassie (pictured right), has helped with a summer program for Wishing Star in the past. Maddie’s journey certainly helped mold each of us into more caring, compassionate people desiring to reach out to help support others. Thank you to Wishing Star for all you did for Maddie and continue to do for our family.”

To read more about our Beyond the Wish program and how it helps our families, click here. To provide financial support to keep the sense of community alive, please make a secure online donation by clicking the button below.
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Wishing Star Brings Relief from Everyday Medical Stresses

We can sometimes forget how easy many of us have it. Our worries may revolve around buying a new pair of running shoes, getting to work on time, finding the perfect birthday present for a friend, or whether your child will get good grades this quarter.lacey2

But imagine if your worries included the dilemma of whether to pay your mortgage or a huge hospital bill for your child’s chemotherapy. Or getting to a doctor’s appointment on time, finding the perfect wheelchair that fits in your car, or whether your child will get good results on his next blood test. Your life would be a lot more chaotic and tense, which is why Wishing Star brings relief from everyday medical stresses experienced by families that have a child with a life-threatening condition.

Six-year-oldSanDiegoTrip148_s2 Quinn’s mother and father would love it if they only had to worry about writing out a grocery list. Instead, their lives are consumed with doctor appointments, hospital stays, medication treatments, and blood testing. Quinn suffers from a mitochondrial disorder that gives him a life expectancy of only about 12 years. His parents constantly worry about his health, future, and how much time they’ll have left with their precious son.

Unfortunately, all of this stress hurt Quinn’s siblings and the family as a whole. When Quinn was referred to Wishing Star, his parents were keeping him in a figurative bubble, afraid to do anything that might risk his already-fragile health. All of that changed, however, almost 1,500 miles away on the sunny beaches of Southern California.

Quinn and his family went on a wish trip to San Diego in the summer of 2012. With nothing on their agenda but having fun, the family enjoyed playing on the beach, sightseeing along the coast, riding in a helicopter, and swimming with dolphins. This trip gave the family a break from all of the medical stresses that surrounded them, and Quinn’s parents realized that by placing all of their focus on keeping their son healthy, they had unintentionally hurt their family.

After returning home, Quinn’s parents vowed that their family would make it a priority to haveSea World 3 more fun. They planned weekly family dates with the sole purpose of enjoying each others company. As Quinn’s mother puts it, “I want Quinn’s life to be a celebration, and our job is to love him until it’s time to let him go.”

We know that most people can’t afford to give thousands of dollars to grant a wish; that’s why we’re not asking you to do that. Instead we’re asking you to forgo a latte four times a month, and commit the money you save to Wishing Star. Please become a part of our Circle of Friends monthly giving program and help sick kids (and their families) get relief from their medical stresses.

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