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Trey’s wish to go to Walt Disney World!

Trey Purcell, 7 years old with Hunter Syndrome (Genetic Disorder) wished to go to Walt Disney World®  3

“Trey’s wish trip was a very big deal. It meant acknowledging the progressive nature of Trey’s disease and the reason that we were even able to apply & qualify for this wish.”

Give Kids The World (GKTW) was unbelievable for so many reasons. It was obvious everyone was going all out, above and beyond to make this a trip of a life-time. From all you can eat ice cream (like 16 hours a day) to rides on the property, various swimming pools and play parks, nightly cookie delivery, daily surprise toys delivered to our home when we weren’t there, numerous food options to eat in or dine out, a fenced in protected area so our kids could be free to run around and explore, and nightly themed events. Whatever we needed, GKTW made it happen.

It was pretty unreal to be surrounded by other families whose children were sick. While hard emotionally, it was also freeing. There was no need to explain or anything, we all kind of just knew.  Our eye contact was one of knowing and supporting and connection. It felt great.

Disney was awesome. To be able to go on as many rides as we wanted … it was AMAZING!!

We went on more Harry Potter rides than I can say, but Trey’s favourite part was definitely the characters.  Every time we saw a new character, he would jump and beg to go see them. Fortunately, Trey thought Tinker Bell and her funny faces were hilarious, I think Mickey may have been his favourite, but the best story was when Trey saw Snow White.  He was so excited, he ran and jumped on her. She wasn’t quite prepared for so much enthusiasm, Trey almost took her out, but she recovered well!

Candyland (77) Trey often gets most of my time and attention, so it was soul food being able to spend time with our other children as well as time together as a family.

We will never forget Trey’s wish trip.  Ever.  Trey still talks about the characters and LOVES looking at the pictures we took – and our other two kids Avery and Sadie still talk about it regularly.

It sounds cliché, but in everything that Make-A-Wish, Give Kids The World and Disney did for us in making it so special – it really was a once in a lifetime wish.” – Deb, Trey’s Mom.

A huge thank you goes out to the SPFK “Pink Kanoes” team who have adopted Trey’s Wish!


Melia’s Wish

Melia, 5 years old with Wilms Tumor is an energetic, cheerful little girl who loves anything to do with water.

Melia’s family had planned a trip to go to Hawaii in June, but unfortunately that trip had to be cancelled when Melia was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor, a cancer of the kidneys that typically occurs in children.  melia

Melia finished her treatment in August and when she was well enough to travel, her wish was to go to Hawaii as the family had originally planned.  Melia wanted to meet a mermaid, go snorkeling and play in the water all day.  (and she loves Mickey Mouse!).

Melia and her family travelled from Victoria to the most magical place where sunshine, water, dolphins, mermaids and Mickey Mouse come together – the beautiful Aulani, a Disney® Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii.

 “Melia had an amazing time.  The resort was magical with plenty of pools, waterslides, beaches, Disney characters…you name it.  It was so good to see Melia excited all day long.  We knew in our hearts this trip would bring Melia incredible joy.  Thank- you so much Make-A-Wish® for making this happen.” – Cory and Jen

An extra special thank you goes out to Aulani, Disney Resort & Spa and SPFK for making Melia’s wish come true!

 


Season of Wishes

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Join Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon and celebrate the spirit of giving through the Season of Wishes® campaign!

Discover the many ways to share the power of a wish®  with family and friends during this festive time of year.

Whether you distribute glow stars in your school or workplace, make a donation as a holiday gift or attend one of our magical events, you’ll help us bring joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions throughout the year.

 


Jaydon’s Wish

11 out of 10 (#CapsWish)

Jaydon, six years old with a brain tumour, wished to have a suite at a Vancouver Whitecaps FC game for his team (The Port Moody Pirates).

In addition to a surprise visit from ‘Caps players at Jaydon’s team practice, he and his team had VIP transportation to and from a game day match, a stadium and locker room tour, personalized soccer jerseys and the opportunity to play on the field at halftime.

Jaydon was four when he started experiencing severe headaches upon awakening in the morning.  Within 24 hours he was getting surgery to remove a brain tumor.

 “Within five days of the surgery, he was walking again and the doctors were in shock,” Jaydon’s mom, Janet said. “It was a very successful surgery.”

Jaydon then spent three months in California getting follow-up treatment as the biopsy determined it was a cancerous tumor. His soccer team helped with fundraising.

“They were around when he was going through his treatment,” said Dave, Jaydon’s dad, who is also the team’s coach. “They know his situation and they’ve been there for him.  They’re more than a team. They’re best friends.

Jaydon rated the day an 11 out of 10! – he hasn’t rated anything over a 4 in a very long time!

A heartfelt thank you to everyone for all of the preparation that went into making Jaydon’s wish a reality.

Words cannot describe how much this means to Jaydon & our family.  Thank you.”  – Janet & Dave.

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 A very special thank you to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC for granting Jaydon’s Wish.

(Photo courtesy Bob Frid)


Yu-Der’s Wish

GAME. SET. MATCH. – Yu-Der’s wish to go to the US Open!

“On behalf of Yu-Der and my family, I would like to thank you so much for everything you have done to make Yu-Der’s wish come true!” - Yulin, Yu-Der’s brother.

8.23.14 AAKDYu-Der, 13 years old with Neuroblastoma wished to go to the 2014 US Open Tennis Championship.  Not only did Yu-Der go to the Open, he had the once in a lifetime opportunity to see many of the world’s best tennis players (Djokovic, Petkovic, Williams and Bouchard to name a few!) on the fast surface courts of this grand slam tournament.

The Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day was an unbelievable experience where Yu-Der and his family enjoyed free tennis games, live music and attractions taking place throughout the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Watching the ‘Pros Practice’ at the Louis Armstrong Stadium, walking the tunnels of Arthur Ashe Stadium, attending the Men’s and Women’s first round of play and the BIGGEST surprise ever –  meeting  Roger Federer.

“Our Mom was star struck and the experience was a wish come true for her as well.  We have so many special stories about our trip to New York and can’t wait to share them all with you.

Thank you so much to everyone at Make-A-Wish for making Yu-Der’s wish come true!” Yulin, Yu-Der, Cecilia & Michael.

 

8.23.14 USTA Foundation at AAKD

Special thanks go out to the UBC Bhangra Club for adopting Yu-Der’s wish!


Callie’s Wish

Callie, age 4 with Wilms Tumor wished to meet her favorite princesses, Anna and Elsa, from the Disney® movie Frozen.  Her wish came true in March and not only did Callie and her sister meet Anna and Elsa in Walt Disney World®, Florida, they had a private visit with plenty of time to dance, sing and laugh together.

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“Our girls blossomed.  We enjoyed all of the magic at the happiest place on earth – exploring the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and SeaWorld.

We spent a week at Give Kids the World Village (GKTW) where ice cream for breakfast, endless rides on the carousel and bedtime tuck-ins from the Village mascot (Miss Mary) were experiences the girls hadn’t even thought to dream of, but now can’t stop talking about.

This trip was truly magical for our family.  It was an escape from the realities of cancer and financial stress, and a chance to just be normal.  Although we will hold our breath through many more scans in the future, we hope that our daughters never have to understand the word relapse.  We will strive to live in the present and take time to laugh, appreciate life and pay it forward.  This trip helped all of us to do that.

We have been so scared to take Callie’s training wheels off of her bike, and so has she.  She is still breakable in our minds, and she always will be.  But as soon as we got home, we took them off.  Callie was very hesitant, but was finally willing to try.  It didn’t take long before she told us to let go, and rode away without looking back.  It was so symbolic of the release of stress and the newfound confidence made possible by our Make-A-Wish trip.

Thank you so very, very much for blessing our family with this once-in-a-lifetime trip.  We will cherish the memories forever.”

– The Howell Family

Thanks go to SPFK (Slo-Pitch for Kids) for adopting Callie’s Wish!


Ross’ top 10 reasons to register for Rope for Hope!

  1. You could win Return Flights for 2 anywhere West Jet flies!
  2. You will get to look down at your friends from a whole new height!
  3. You will help Make-A-Wish say ‘yes’ to magical wishes for special kids.
  4. You will face your fears!
  5. You’ll get invited to the amazing after party & celebrate!
  6. You’ll get to see what you look like in a harness!
  7. Great SWAG bag for all participants
  8.  A chance to win more incentive prizes (SONY TV, Go-Pros)
  9. You will be rappelling down the tallest building of Rope For Hope events across all 8 Canadian cities participating. Of course BC is bigger!
  10. It’s going to be a party!

Register today!

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Ross’ Blog

I just read a beautiful thank you note from a wish mom thanking us for granting her daughter’s magical wish and all the joy it brought their family. These mean the world to us at Make-A-Wish.

In it, she spoke of how they will hold their breaths through every scan to come and that she hopes that they will never experience the word – relapse.  These are feelings that resonated with me and I nodded knowingly as I read this paragraph.

Two+ years post all the chemo and hair loss; operations and daily ‘pokes’, you actually get to forget about cancer for almost two months at a time. When friends ask me how I’m doing I usually reply about work or my tennis game and I don’t even consider my ‘counts’ or scan results. For about two months – that is. Until I receive the notice in the mail from the cancer agency with my scheduled appointment for my next blood work, scans and x-rays and then it all comes back. Oh yah – I was sick. Oh yes – I did have cancer. Oh yah . . . .

And yes, we do hold our breaths every couple of months as we are reminded of all that we went through. It used to bring on total stress and sleepless nights of worry and I’m sure that this will never completely fade, but now, two years later, it is also a reminder to enjoy every day and climb my mountains and walk my beaches and to tell people in my life that I love them. And just like when I first learned how to swim – holding your breath gets a bit easier over time.

- Ross, CEO, Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon - 

 


Rob’s Blog – Becoming A Monthly Donor

So, there you were…the end of February and you knew you wanted or needed to make some donations to some great causes but you just hadn’t gotten around to it.  The tax deadline snuck up on you or you just procrastinated.  How many times has this scenario played out for you?

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If you have found an organization that speaks to your heart, you believe in the mission and their commitment, make it easy and commit to their monthly donor program.  Never have to make another decision on whether or not to give.  It’s good for you and is also good for us here at Make-A-Wish for the following reasons:

  1.  Convenience – it’s easier to manage your personal finances and you don’t have to remind yourself at the end of the year amidst all the other things you have to do at that time.
  2. Efficiency – it reduces our administrative expenses which allows your donation to serve more of our mission.  It’s also a steady and predictable source of revenue for Make-A-Wish which is great for budget stability…..And no big decisions to make at tax time.
  3. Connection – we know our monthly donors better, allowing us to build better relationships.  It also makes you feel good for donating to a worthy cause!
  4. Flexibility – you can change the amount of your donation at any time with a simple phone call or email.  Donating monthly makes it easier to increase the size of your annual gift by making smaller monthly amounts that you barely notice.

If you are considering joining our MONTHLY STARS GIVING program all you need to do is give us a call at our office or fill in the information on our website.  We accept both credit card and direct debit (from your chequing or savings account).

There is a benefit to our organization for using direct debit.  It has a lower cost to performing the transactions and no expiration dates or stolen/fraudulent cards to deal with.

- Robert Duncan, Donor Relations and Administration


Social Media Bootcamp – Nancy’s Top 5!

Put on by the Socialized Communications Team, Social Media Bootcamp is for all of us who want to keep up with the latest trends on social media’s biggest platforms, learn how to build out a social media plan, tips & strategies on managing the process and why you need to build a social media plan now.

Great day, with great information (I’m already looking forward to the next camp!) Here are my top 5 camp take-aways:

  • Social Media knowledge & literacy & knowledge – it’s still about people & building relationships; you can’t build a plan without a map
  • Integrated Strategy – combining  social media, mobile marketing, tradition media & selling is absolutely vital to the success of your organization
  • Engagement – Start Connecting!  Be authentic, consistent and fearless in your contribution to community
  • Be a Thought Leader – listen & understand the market & engage in great conversations & content
  • Whether you are an entrepreneur or leading an organization, social media has to be part of all critical business activities

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 Special thanks to Shane Gibson, AJ Caridi & Mitchy Ballen for including Make-A-Wish in last week’s Social Media Bootcamp!

Nancy Tardioli, Director of Communications & Community Partnerships