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Then & Now: Jerry's wish inspires his future

Jerry's wish to have a computer inspired his career.

“ It gave me a chance to think beyond being a sick kid ”


- Jerry

On August 25, 2017, Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia will celebrate its 30th anniversary. Because of caring supporters like you, each of the more than 4,700 wishes granted since our chapter’s inception in 1987 has given a child an opportunity to look beyond their present reality, and instead have hope for the future.

Take wish kid Jerry, for example.

On September 21, 1994, the day of his 14th birthday, Jerry was diagnosed with leukemia. Not long after he was diagnosed, he learned he would receive a wish from Make-A-Wish.

He knew his wish would be one that had the future in mind. He weighed his options, and finally settled on a computer – which was quite a big deal in the mid-90s!

Jerry, pictured above with a fellow patient during treatment, had dreams of someday becoming an engineer or architect, and he knew a computer would open up a world of limitless possibilities for him. He didn’t receive just any computer, though; he received a top-of-the-line, custom-made computer, loaded with specialty design software. 

Though Jerry was focused on his future when he made his wish back in 1994, he had no idea just how much it would help shape his life past treatment, and even as an adult. When he received his computer, he quickly got to work on school projects, and he discovered that if he could make something look good, his teachers would be pleased! 

His dedication to making his work look as visually appealing as possible led him to an interest in design, and learning the ins and outs of the software his computer came with. Ultimately, the computer Jerry received for his wish guided him to his career in advertising today, where he is the Senior Vice President of one of America’s largest advertising agencies.

Now, more than 20 years later, Jerry is giving back to the organization that allowed him to focus on all his future could hold at a time when everyone else around him was focused on his present condition. He joined the Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia Board of Directors in January. Jerry knows firsthand that “positivity and optimism provide healing,” and is glad to be able to give back to the organization that gave so much to him.

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