While going through radiation treatment in September 2013, Kara Walsh with Children’s Hospital surprised me with a $750 Visa card from Fake A Wish. The purpose of the money was to spend it on something(s) that would be special to look forward to after radiation – nothing responsible like on gas or tuition, but something that would bring happiness to me. Fake A Wish is very similar to the Make-a-Wish, as the sponsor children with life-threatening medical conditions to complete a dream or wish of theirs. The different is, the child has to be under the age of 18 to be referred to the Make-a-Wish foundation; Fake A Wish sponsored 18-year-olds.
When I first got the money, I was thinking about buying a pair of Gypsy Soule boots that I have always wanted, but alway thought of better ways to spend $600. I also considered buying a plane ticket to visit my cousin in Georgia, but feeling so exhausted the two months following the completion of the radiation treatment, I was not up to traveling across the country. So I set the money aside until I could find something to spend the money on that would be enjoyable and follow the criteria of “not responsible.”
In 2008, my cousin, sister, and I went on a seven-day cruise of the Caribbean with my parents and grandparents; we wanted to go on another vacation before we all graduated college and too busy in our separate lives to get away for a short vacation together. Over the summer, we were talking and decided now would be the best time to go. The plan was set in motion, I would spend the money from Fake A Wish on the cruise. My sister was the designated travel agent, she booked the trip; a five day, four night Carnival Cruise, with stops in Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico, January 3 – 8, 2015. I would be 20 by the cruise, but a rule stating if anyone was under the age of 21, someone over the age of 25 must be in the party too, allotted for my brother and his girlfriend to join the cruise. Then, three weeks before we were to sail, my brother’s friend and his wife joined the cruise too.
For five days, I was able to enjoy wearing shorts and flip-flops, not worrying about a jacket, and soaking up the sun. Except for the last day of the cruise, it was cloudy and chilly during the day. Heavy waves were causing the ship to rock severely that night. But the fine dining (of course quoting Pretty Woman all during dinner); melted chocolate cake; magic and comedy shows; towel animals; not worrying about school, bills, or work; and no interruptions from social media and cell phones was a relaxing and enjoyable break all seven of us needed.
Fake A Wish brought a smile to my face a year after my medical ordeal, Make-A-Wish brings smiles to children every day. If you have change weighing down your purse or pants, donate it to the one the foundations. Looking forward to something wonderful during any medical ordeal is a positive impulse to that no medicine can match.
Thank you to all who have donated money or time to organizations like these, they do bring a smile and lift spirits.