When you wish upon a star
By David Esteppe
A common misconception about Make-A-Wish is that the foundation only grants wishes to terminally ill children. To the contrary, Make-A-Wish fulfills wishes for children living with life-threatening medical conditions and believes that a wish experience fills its families with hope, strength and joy.
Cousins, 6-year-old Nicholas and 3-year-old Navaeh, both from Rainelle, recently returned from their heartfelt wish of visiting the happiest place on Earth – Walt Disney World.
The families of each child stayed at Give Kids the World Village, a fairytale resort for kids that features a gingerbread house restaurant, an Ice Cream Palace and the Castle of Miracles.
Throughout their trip, Nicholas and Navaeh visited Magic Kingdom, Epcot, SeaWorld and Universal Studios. The dynamic duo sported ear-to-ear smiles when they had an up-close experience with a dolphin while visiting SeaWorld. Nicholas was especially excited to dive into aquatic activities like riding water slides, snorkeling and catching a glimpse of his favorite fish Nemo.
Nicholas has been diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition, and Navaeh is taking on cystic fibrosis. Their wishes could not have taken shape without the first crucial step of referring the wish to the foundation.
Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia is a non-profit organization that grants wishes to children ages 2-and-a-half to 18, with life-threatening conditions. Currently, the local chapter is one of the most active in the country, having fulfilled more than 16,000 wishes.
For more information, please call Make-A-Wish at 800-664-9474 or visit the website at www.wv.wish.org. The regional manager who handled Nicholas and Navaeh’s wishes, Jo Beth Smith, can be reached at 304-342-9424.