The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada – I Wish for a New Waiter

Wish Children

BENTLEIGH’S STORY

Bentleigh is a happy, sassy four-year-old from Edmonton. As her mom, Ricki, says, ‘Bentleigh is definitely the baby in the family; she takes advantage of being the youngest. She’s a pretty big momma’s girl but she also has her older brother, Linkoln, who will do anything for her.’

Bentleigh was diagnosed two months after birth with Ataxia Telangiectasia, the same condition her older brother Linkoln has. Ataxia is a neuro-immune disorder in which her cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls muscle and motor function, is dying off. This means she has symptoms of such disease as Parkinson’s, Cystic Fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, Crone’s, and other’s all in one. It leaves her prone to cancers and other illnesses because her immune system is so weak. Most children diagnosed with Ataxia are in wheelchairs by their tenth birthday and pass away early in their teenaged years.

With an older brother that dotes over her like Linkoln does, it’s natural that Bentleigh looks up to him. When her older brother had his Wish granted, the family travelled to the Bahamas and it inspired Bentleigh’s Wish – she wanted to go to a waterfront resort, as well. She chose one that combined her joy from the Bahamas with her love of Disney: the Disney Alauni Resort in Hawaii. The family went in November of 2016.

A family with two Wish children can face challenges that seem insurmountable. Your giving is crucial for these families. Thanks to you, Wish families can be given an overwhelming amount of joy. It allows their children not just the one reprieve they deserve – but two.

BRIANNA’S STORY

Brianna is a very kind 16-year-old from a small town north of Edmonton. She is nice to everyone she meets but enjoys having time to herself and her own privacy. She is a determined individual who carries high expectations of herself in whatever it is she is doing, whether it is at school, at the gym, or doing yoga.

Brianna was diagnosed with Nodular Sclerosing Hodgkins Lymphoma when she was 14 years old. After she felt a lump just above her collarbone, doctors did a scan and found the cancer in her chest. She started chemotherapy treatment immediately. Throughout the treatment, she had a number of complications including septic shock and a number of infections. Brianna was in-and-out of the hospital in Edmonton for six months, during which she only went home once. She missed nearly all of her Grade 9 year and barely got to see her sisters who were always five hours away back home.

Brianna’s Wish is go on an African Safari in Zimbabwe. She was inspired when a friend of her family showed her pictures from their own trip. Brianna wanted to see the animals up close. As important, it will allow her to make up for lost time with her family, opportunities taken from her by the illness.

For Brianna, living a healthy life is very important. The power of her Wish will spur her forward in that mission. Thanks to you, the time taken from her to be active will all pale as a memory compared to her African Safari.

PARKER’S STORY

Parker is an intelligent, determined six-year-old. He dances competitively and loves Taekwondo. Parker is also very strong-willed. As his mom, Robin, says, “He definitely knows what he wants. He always makes his own path with things. Our doctors always tell us you can’t go by the book with him because he writes the book!”
 

Parker was born with Vater Syndrome, a combination of birth defects that occur all at once. At 28 weeks in his mother’s womb, doctors discovered his stomach wasn’t directly connected to his esophagus, which meant anything swallowed would go into his lungs and not his stomach. He also had a hole in his heart, a missing rib, only one kidney and, being born two months premature, a series of other serious conditions. At one point, he went into arrest and nearly died. Parker has had to struggle his entire life.

While Parker has yet to choose his Wish, but he has always been a big fan of the Lego movies. He is leaning towards Legoland and Disney World. Since he learned he would be granted a Wish, he has constantly been asking Robin when he is going to get to go on a trip. For Parker, it will be the trip of a lifetime. For his family, it will be a way to bring them together.

For a child who has spent every day of their life battling adversity, the power of a Wish is immeasurable. Thanks to your support, Parker and his family will be closer together than ever before.

HALLIE’S STORY

Hallie is a very positive, bright three-year-old from Edmonton.  She is constantly trying to learn, whether by meeting new people, trying a new sport, or starting school. Hallie has a very close relationship with her siblings, Tyler and Koby. She idolizes Tyler, her older sister, and wants to be just like her; meanwhile, her brother Koby coddles and looks out for her.

Hallie has Cystic Fibrosis. She was diagnosed within her first week of birth. CF is one of the most dangerous conditions there is, with a very high fatality rate. It causes the production of abnormally thick mucus, resulting in respiratory infection.  It is the equivalent of breathing through a straw. Hallie has to do physio every day and go numerous rounds of antibiotics in order to breath properly.

Hallie has never questioned why she lives with a life-threatening illness. She does her physio, gets her nose and throat swabs, and does her clinics without complaint. You would never know if you looked at her that she faces such challenges, says Becky, Hallie’s mom, “She hates needles and freaks out like every other kid. I have to bribe her with toys every single time and it costs me a fortune, like every other kid! She’s the same.”

While Hallie hasn’t picked her Wish yet – she is leaning towards a visit to Disney World – her imagination has been running wild. When her parents first posed the question to her, she said she wanted a talking Panda. With an imagination like that, when the time comes for her Wish, Hallie will surely get the most out of it.

Hallie’s condition will follow her whole life and restrict her ability to do certain activities. Your donations allow children access to travel insurance they otherwise wouldn’t and funding medical attendees to travel with them for the on-the-ground care. With these benefits, Hallie can have the Wish of a lifetime – and maybe find a way to meet a talking Panda.

discovered his stomach wasn’t directly connected to his esophagus, which meant anything swallowed would go into his lungs and not his stomach. He also had a hole in his heart, a missing rib, only one kidney and, being born two months premature, a series of other serious conditions. At one point, he went into arrest and nearly died. Parker has had to struggle his entire life.

While Parker has yet to choose his Wish, but he has always been a big fan of the Lego movies. He is leaning towards Legoland and Disney World. Since he learned he would be granted a Wish, he has constantly been asking Robin when he is going to get to go on a trip. For Parker, it will be the trip of a lifetime. For his family, it will be a way to bring them together.

For a child who has spent every day of their life battling adversity, the power of a Wish is immeasurable. Thanks to your support, Parker and his family will be closer together than ever before.

 

COOPER’S STORY

Cooper is a laid-back, easy-going six-year-old. He loves toys that make music and to spend his days lounging on his favorite shag carpet in his families living room. If it shines bright, Cooper is attracted to it – from his siblings’ iPad to lamps to televisions.

When Cooper was born, he appeared unable to swallow. He was immediately sent to Stollery in Edmonton. Doctors were stumped by his complex condition. Multiple MRI’s, biopsies, and genetic tests by doctors came back normal. His condition has both physical and cognitive consequence with a profound effect on his personality and ability to learn physical functions. He is difficult to engage with and does not react to external stimuli very often. He didn’t learn to crawl until last year. Cooper is challenged everyday with basic forms of motor and cognitive function.

Cooper’s Wish is for a hippocamp chair, a modified utility wheelchair. Because Cooper is required to be in a five-pint harness to keep him seated upright when he goes outside, it makes it difficult – especially in winter – to go out and be active with his family. Cooper’s Wish will make it far easier for him to engage with his siblings and allow the family to go on trips. The family is so excited for winter so they can bring Cooper outside as soon as the first snow falls!

Cooper lives with a condition doctors don’t understand. However, there’s nothing easier to understand than the power of a Wish. Thanks to you, this winter and every winter to come, Cooper will go outside with his family and experiencing the season like he never has before.