For Jacob, a 7-year-old diagnosed with pulmonary disease, playing games has always provided an escape from his reality of daily medical treatments and frequent hospital visits. When Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia wish granter volunteers began talking with Jacob about his one true wish, his wish for a shopping spree fell right into place.
Time and time again, health professionals and families share experiences of wish kids being more willing to comply with difficult, but vital, treatment regimens, something Jacob’s family experienced first-hand. From his first meeting with his wish granter volunteers, Jacob’s wish was always on his mind, and looking forward to the day of his shopping spree provided a turning point in how he viewed his medical treatments. His nightly oxygen treatments went from a constant struggle to something he knew would help him feel his best throughout the wish process.
Once the day of Jacob’s shopping spree arrived, he could hardly contain his excitement. He had been carefully researching which games would be the right choice, and had thoughtfully created a shopping list to use during his shopping spree. With his family and wish granter volunteer, Sally, by his side, he was more than ready to begin the day! From a personalized cake, to a shopping cart decked out with balloons and store staff attentive to his every need, Jacob’s shopping spree was more magnificent than he imagined. Excited to share the day with his siblings, Jacob even picked out a special gift for both of his siblings.
The joy Jacob’s wish brought spread throughout his entire family. “For my son to see that other people outside of his social circle care about him, pay attention to what he feels and what he really wants made him feel very special, and for us that is truly a blessing,” Jacob’s mother, Mayra, writes. Jacob’s renewed hope during the wish process provided a positive impact for the entire family, including siblings Andy and Emely, and the time spent together without the stress of worrying about medication or doctor’s appointments strengthened their family unit.
“The memory that Make-A-Wish created for us is going to last forever in our hearts,” Mayra shares. “You gave us a lot more than a material thing; you renewed our faith to keep us going through everything that is ahead of us.”