In 2002, 15-year-old Kevin Pearson wished to go to Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Kevin suffers from a blood disorder called sickle cell anemia. Sickle-shaped cells are not flexible and can stick to vessel walls, causing a blockage that slows or stops the flow of blood.
In addition to attending the winter games, Kevin was honored by Chevrolet in the Olympic Torch Relay in his home town of Atlanta before he left for the games.
“I battle sickle cell anemia every day,” said 15-year-old Pearson. “And when I’m in crisis, the pain is almost unbearable. But I still find a way to stay active. Carrying the Olympic flame is the coolest thing ever! I didn’t want to ask to do it as part of my wish because I thought that would be asking too much. But thankfully, I get to do it anyway.”
Now, at 28 Kevin continues to raise awareness about sickle cell anemia. He attended the 2015 Wish Ball as one of 20 wish ambassadors, recognizing Make-A-Wish Georgia's 20th Anniversary. Kevin can look back on his wish with fond memories.
"Going to the Winter Olympic Games gave me something to look forward to and allowed me to forget my troubles," said 29-year-old Kevin. "The wish itself was so much more than I ever imagined. Make-A-Wish Georgia made me feel like I was the only kid in the world."