When a child qualifies for a wish, it opens up a window of possibilities. Kids can let their imagination soar as they wish to be, to have, to meet or to go. But Katie wished for something totally different. Katie wished to give!
The magic ingredient of wishes are the communities who come together and give their time, talent, or treasure to make it possible. If you want to make wishes come true, visit this page.
An Unexpected Friend
Always one to find the silver lining on gloomy days, it’s no surprise that when Katie was diagnosed with lymphoma at 17, she connected with so many other kids battling childhood cancer.
While receiving weekly treatments, Katie immediately bonded with a 6-year-old little girl named Marianna. As they started their journey towards health, Katie noticed that Marianna was absolutely terrified of having her port accessed.
So the next day Katie brought Marianna a hand-made bear with its very own port. “She immediately started pretending she was the nurse,” Katie said, "And that's when I realized this could actually help other kids too!"
This was the start of Katie's Treatment Buddies.
On the day of Katie's wish, she thought she was going to launch the Arm Wrestle Challenge, a celebrity fundraising push with John Cena. Little did she know, that an army of volunteers and corporations were gathered to reveal that Katie’s wish for 40 bears multiplied into 2,400 bears!
The most special part of Katie’s wish day was spending it with a community of people who were so thrilled to help make her wish possible! From volunteers and friends to groups like Build-A-Bear and UPS, Katie was overwhelmed by the village that gathered to grant her wish.
When the doors opened, a wish community filled the room from wall to wall, cheering Katie on. Dozens of people, friends and family, new and old, were holding bears and waving signs, overjoyed to be sharing this moment with Katie. Through a blur of blue and bears, Katie watched via livestream as her Treatment Buddies were distributed to kids in Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Katie spent the rest of her wish day delivering Treatment Buddies to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, for kids like Gigi, Joshua, and AC; all who had ports and were terrified just like Marianna.
What We Learned
Ordinary wishes become extraordinary when a community rallies behind a wish kid! These great big hearts made a world of difference to Katie, while Katie was making a world of difference to children battling childhood cancer across the country.
We look forward to seeing you again next month at the #WishingWell