Working on a chilly November morning through the afternoon until darkness creeped in, a team of wish granters – including a wish alum – and other volunteers labored to make a milestone wish possible for wish kid Liam just days shy of his sixth birthday.
Liam’s wish to have an adaptive playset was the 1,900th wish granted by Make-A-Wish® Northeast New York since the chapter began granting wishes in 1987.
The playset is specially designed for Liam, who has epilepsy, is blind, was born with a heart defect and suffered a brain injury as a result, is non-verbal and confined to a wheelchair.
“This is something he will have for a lifetime,” said wish dad Will, who worked alongside volunteers digging holes, measuring and assembling the elaborate set in the front yard of the family’s rural home in Easton in Washington County. “He loves to swing. He will enjoy it every day.”
About 25 volunteers and family came out to help, including wish granters Michael and Eileen Dashnaw and Justice White – all of whom live nearby. White, 19, is a 2005 wish alum who has since raised money for the chapter and Make-A-Wish® America by collecting a half-million letters for the Macy’s Believe campaign and jumping out of an airplane as part of Wish Jump. This was her first wish as a wish granter.
“Because of the experience my wish granters gave me, I wanted to give back to children,” said White, who was joined by her parents and other family members working on Liam’s wish.
Wish mom Heather said she’s thrilled with what Liam’s wish will mean to him in the days and years ahead, and the outpouring of support.
“It’s hard to find a group of people who go out of their way to make sure everything is right,” she said, looking around at all the Make-A-Wish Northeast New York volunteers working on her son’s behalf. “That someone would take the time to find out what he wants, it’s very touching.”