Varuun’s wish came true in March when he and his family visited the home office of Hasbro in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where Varuun designed his own Transformer: Omega Varuun! Varuun, a seven year old from Cary, is challenged with acute lymphoplastic leukemia and had a bone marrow transplant last year. He was referred to our chapter over four years ago, but his ensuing health issues delayed his wish until this year.
His one true wish was to see where Transformers are made and to design his own. With the assistance of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Chapter, we were able to put together an unforgettable wish for Varuun. United Healthcare adopted Varuun’s wish and sent him off with a Transformer themed party. He received so many Transformer toys from the folks at Hasbro, we’re not quite sure how they got them all home! In addition to all those toys, Hasbro will be sending Varuun his own “Omega Varuun,” once it is built.
Kaitlyn, better known at Katie to those close to her, is a sweet and fun loving little girl. The six-year-old loves the color pink, playing with dolls, eating junk food, and she especially loves Christmas. There is one thing that differentiates Katie from other little girls. She is challenged with Cerebral Palsy and a Seizure disorder. But Katie does her best to not let this slow her down! When the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern NC offered Katie her one true wish, she knew immediately what she wanted; to go to Disney World at Christmas time and attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! So Katie, her mom, dad, brother, and sister packed up to enjoy the holidays with Mickey and the gang!
On December 14, the family headed to Florida. They stayed at the Give Kids the World Village, which they absolutely loved. Katie’s mom could not say enough good things about the people and the experience at the Village! Once there, they received their park passes which included a three-day pass to use at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, a two-day pass to use at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, and a one-day pass to use at Sea World. But the real excitement was getting to go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. On December 16, the whole family got to attend the celebration that included live entertainment, spectacular fireworks and a holiday parade!
Katie and her family had a great time on their trip to Disney World, but on December 21, it was time to head home. Katie’s mom said the following about Katie’s experience “Katie LOVED LOVED LOVED the characters at Disney…She’s a total Mickey fan now! In fact, the other day after we got home, Mike (dad) took her to his dad’s and she fell asleep in the van. When he stopped and opened her door, she popped up still half asleep and started signing MOUSE and RIDE. I think she may have been dreaming about being at Disney!” We know they all had a fantastic time and that they will cherish the memories of their trip for a long time to come.
Kevin, a 19 year old heart patient from Raleigh, realized his wish to meet Robert Knight, a long time photographer of Rock & Roll stars, at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show in Anaheim, California in January. They spent the afternoon walking the floor of the NAMM show where Mr. Knight introduced Kevin to a variety of musician and band technicians. Kevin was presented with a new Fender guitar by the CEO of Fender, and a Nikon camera donated by Nikon.
They shared dinner that evening at one of Mr. Knight’s favorite restaurants where he presented Kevin with an autographed book addressed to Kevin. Kevin was touched by everything that had been done for him. He thanked his Make-A-Wish escort repeatedly for arranging his wish and could not believe all the extra surprises that were part of his wish. He mentioned it was worth waiting 9 years to have his wish granted and he would not have changed a thing!