Here we are again, on this Travel Tuesday, celebrating World Make A Wish Day. Every April 29th several landmarks in Toronto light up blue and white for seriously ill children everywhere. The CN Tower, Toronto City Hall, and Niagara Falls will be lit up in support. Several hospitals across the country have events planned for the children.
I owe a lot to this type of organization. I was considered one of those seriously ill children once.
I lay in my usual spot on the living room couch. That was where I spent most of my time in the spring of my twelfth year. We were getting a new fridge and that was exciting enough. Then one of my parents just happened to notice an advertisement on the back of a magazine. It was for an organization called Wish Kids. Why not. I was considered seriously ill and I qualified. This organization had a village for kids to go with their families in Orlando, Florida. We contacted them and soon we were planning a trip.
By autumn the trip was all planned. We would be sent, all six of us, down to Florida and be given an all-expenses paid vacation; all of the Disney parks and more were included. It was all set.
My sudden, unexpected, and alarming eye problems caused the trip to be postponed. We were all very disappointed.
It took a whole year to reschedule, but the man who ran the local chapter and my parents surprised us one evening by announcing that the trip was back on. By now my health was stable enough for things to move forward. We were off on the trip of a lifetime.
I look back on that week in the years since with fond memories. I am grown now and my family are spread out and doing their own thing. I miss the togetherness of those days and our week in sunny Florida.
I have reaped the benefit of being considered a seriously ill child three times now along with my brother, sent to Washington D.C. and California. It was through two other similar organizations to Make A Wish: Wish Kids and The Sunshine Foundation. All these groups do amazing things for sick children every single day. It is remarkable to me.
Having a disability or being ill all the time certainly has its drawbacks so why not take advantage of the rare benefits. It is hard having limitations. Of course we all have them, but being blind I know what mine are. These organizations make dreams come true and they give hope when sometimes it feels like there is very little.