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Wish Stories


I wish to go to Discovery Cove to swim with a dolphin!

It’s difficult to imagine a 7-year-old experiencing multiple heart attacks, but wish kid Tayah knows the stresses and worries of these incidents all too well.  When thinking about her wish, Tayah knew she wanted to do something involving animals, swimming and maybe visiting a water park. She decided a wish to go to Discovery Cove and swim with a dolphin would be the perfect fit for her! Tayah’s wish came true on her first full day in Florida. Her family journeyed to Discovery Cove where they enjoyed relaxing on the beautiful beaches before visiting the dolphin lagoon. Tayah waded out into the water and went nose to bottlenose with her new best friend, Luna. She had so much fun petting, swimming and splashing around with Luna and also had the chance to give her a kiss before her visit was over!


I wish to have a WaveRunner!

When a child is facing a critical illness it often leaves them feeling isolated and alone. For a freshman in high school, this reality can be even more difficult. Instead of spending time with friends, playing sports, and going to school, 15-year-old Grayson spent most of his time in treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. For Grayson, the most difficult part was losing his hair. Recalling the memory, his mom said, “It made it all real.” During difficult treatments, Grayson often imagined his life outside of his hospital walls. He pictured being reunited with his friends on the lake with the sun on his face and the wind in his hair. It was these visions that influenced Grayson to wish to have his very own WaveRunner. While patiently waiting for his wish to come true, Grayson and his family were invited to speak at Make-A-Wish® Central & Western NC’s annual Wish Ball. Walking into the ball, Grayson noticed an extra special auction item parked outside the venue: a blue Yamaha WaveRunner. During the event, representatives from Yamaha Motors and team Charlotte Motorsports, went on stage to talk about this particular item. Then they invited Grayson up to ask him what it would mean to have a WaveRunner of his own. Before the bidding could begin, they revealed to Grayson that it wasn’t an auction item after all – it was his wish coming true! When his wish came true, Grayson’s mom said, “I don’t think we were aware, until we took this journey, how incredibly nice people are. Our entire family is amazed and in awe about how much has happened and how much people are willing to do.” 


I wish to build by own gaming computer!

After being diagnosed with a nervous system disorder, 18-year-old Kobe is confined to a wheelchair and is no longer able to play basketball or lacrosse like he used to.  When approached by Make-A-Wish® Central & Western NC about his wish, Kobe said he wanted to build his very own gaming computer that would allow him to stay connected with his friends online if not on the court or field. 

A wish takes an entire community coming together to provide an unforgettable experience for a child and their family.  For Kobe’s wish, Make-A-Wish® Central & Western NC enlisted the help of UNC Greensboro and their Information Technology Services Department. “I was immediately interested when UNCG was connected with Make-A-Wish to build a gaming PC,” said John Gale, ITS Security Specialist.  

As the planning of Kobe’s wish continued, the team found out what exact parts Kobe was looking for and what he envisioned for his computer. “We’ve got the day planned out and I’m looking forward to a great build day, from opening all the boxes, hands on assembly, and final setup,” said John. “I think Kobe is going to have a lot of fun.”

On the day of the build, Kobe’s eyes lit up as he opened box after box of equipment. John walked him through each step of the build and everything went off without a hitch.  John said, “I think he will have a real sense of pride in what he built as he looks back on it.”

Kobe’s new computer will be a great asset for him as he starts college in the fall where he hopes to study Computer Science.


I wish to go to Disney!

Due to her rare neurological disorder, wish kid Keyla can only communicate through smiles and laughter. She lights up every time she hears Disney® songs or watches a Disney movie – especially if Mickey Mouse is in it! For this reason, a trip to Disney World® was the perfect wish for Keyla!

Keyla and her family, along with her favorite teacher Beth, packed up the car and headed for sunny Orlando, Florida. Keyla was delighted to have her favorite teacher with her as she and Beth have established a special relationship during their time spent together. Beth was able to join Keyla to assist the family with communication and transportation. During the trip, they stayed at Give Kids the World Village® where Keyla enjoyed lots of ice cream and watched her favorite TV show, Disney Junior, on the big screen TV. For Keyla and her family, the highlight of the trip was watching the Disney Junior – Live on Stage production at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. When reflecting on this moment, Beth said, “When Mickey Mouse popped up on stage, the look on Keyla’s face was priceless. She made the connection and recognized her favorite character. She smiled and laughed throughout the program.”  Each day when Keyla got out of the van at a new theme park, she would laugh, smile and dance around – she knew it was another day of fun and amusement. She loved seeing the characters, riding the rides, and eating lots of cotton candy. As their trip was wrapping up, Beth reflected on the week saying, “Keyla has been so happy. It has been such a joy watching her smile and laugh. The whole family has had a wonderful time with such great memories.”


I wish to go on a cruise!

Amelia is a sweet and free-spirited 14-year-old girl who loves listening to pop and rock ‘n’ roll music, as well as writing her own songs. She spends lot of time walking her dog, meeting new people, and being outdoors. Since being diagnosed with cancer, her love for life has only grown. She often talks about traveling the world so when her volunteer wish granters asked her what she would like her wish to be, she knew she wanted to go on a cruise.

To start her trip, Amelia and her family flew to Florida. Once they arrived, they took a limo to the port dock before boarding the ship and setting sail. During the trip, Amelia and her family made the most of every minute. Between dressing up for the teen prom one night, to sightseeing at the ports of San Juan and St. Maarten, Amelia had the time of her life. She loved being able to look out her window and see the ocean and go on excursions to the beautiful beaches!

After the wish, Amelia’s mom said, “She couldn’t stop smiling, even after she returned home from the trip. This trip will forever be a place Amelia thinks about anytime she needs to an oasis!”


I wish to have a shopping spree!

Although the month of February is recognized as Heart Health Month, wish kid Yesica has to think about the health of her heart every single day. She was born with a heart condition that required her to eventually receive a heart transplant. Despite the challenges Yesica has faced, she continues to be a happy girl who enjoys spending time with her family, watching Frozen, and, just like so many little girls, shopping! When thinking of her wish, she immediately knew she wanted to go on a shopping spree. Yesica and her family received the royal treatment as they were picked up for her shopping spree in a limo. Their first stop was Toys “R” Us where she met Geoffrey the Giraffe and had so much fun shopping for new toys. Her jaw dropped when she saw all the Frozen toys and she bought nearly every single one. Next it was time to head to Target where she picked out a TV, karaoke machine, and Frozen bedding. After a busy morning, they stopped for lunch where Yesica enjoyed a pepperoni pizza. After lunch, Yesica received one extra surprise: a trip to Build-A-Bear!  Yesica picked out a rainbow colored bear, which she named Teddy Bear, and then they inserted two sound machines to press on each paw. The first one was recorded with her favorite Frozen song and the other one was recorded with her mom’s voice saying “I love you Yesica.” She then washed and brushed her bear and picked an outfit which included Elsa’s princess dress, a pair of slippers and a princess crown. Yesica’s brother could not have wrapped up the day any better when he expressed, “This was the best day ever!” A wish, however, goes beyond one ‘best day ever’ and truly leaves an impact on the lives of wish children, their families, volunteers, supporters and entire communities even after the wish is granted. Now, every evening when Yesica says goodnight to Teddy Bear, she will be reminded of her amazing wish and the joy that she felt.


I wish to meet the guys from Top Gear!

Nicholas is a talkative and outgoing 13-year-old, who loves soccer, rock music and video games. Nicholas and his family lived in the United Kingdom for a year, and during that time, he got hooked on the show “Top Gear”, the world’s largest motoring show. He has seen all 23 seasons, which shows his serious dedication!  During his long stays at the hospital for his cancer treatments, Nicholas found comfort in watching hours of his favorite show, which made meeting the cast the perfect wish for him!

When Nicholas and his family arrived in London, they were given passes to watch a taping of an episode. After the taping, he got to hang out with the hosts and pick their brains about the show, cars and everything else under the sun!  Nicholas felt so special getting to meet his idols.

Nicholas’ parents said that after the trip was over, Nicholas was still so happy from the wish. His mom shared, “These people saved my child’s life. The only way he made it through some very dark times during treatment was to watch their show over and over again.” Now whenever Nicholas and his family watch an episode of “Top Gear”, they are reminded of the incredible adventure they had.


I wish to go on a safari in South Africa!

When volunteer wish granters Ted and Dar met wish kid Reed, they noticed how soft spoken he was, but were impressed with how much research he had done when deciding on his dream wish.  Although diagnosed with Leukemia, Reed is a your typical 17-year-old boy. He loves spending time with friends and is very close with his siblings, Noah and Emily. He enjoys the outdoors, especially hiking, fishing, hunting, and being around animals. When asked what his wish would be, he answered “to go on a safari in Africa”. He really wanted to see and hear the sights and sounds of the wild animals and sleep in a tent under the stars.

Reed, along with his mom, brother and sister, soon set off for ten days in South Africa. They spent time riding cable cars through Cape Town, exploring the wildlife at the peninsula, and driving through the game reserve in Mossel Bay where he saw his favorite animal, the giraffe! He even was able to interact with lions, birds and monkeys in the Tsitsikamma National Park, see an ostrich farm, explore caves near the wildlife ranch in Oudtshoorn, and dive with crocodiles.  All of these activities, coupled with pitching his very own tent and sleeping among the exotic African grasslands, made this a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

On one of their last nights, five giraffes came out for a drink of water and stopped at the watering hole outside their window! Reed’s mom said that it was the perfect ending to their trip. She even said “trying to get used to ‘normal’ life again after living in a dream” was going to be difficult.  It was truly an unforgettable trip for everyone involved.


I wish to have a puppy!

Being diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition often leaves a child feeling isolated and alone. Days spent in school surrounded by friends and classmates are replaced with long nights in the hospital surrounded by medical equipment and doctors. Kylie’s cancer diagnosis has unfortunately limited the amount of time she can spend playing and making new friends. When thinking about her one-true-wish, Kylie imagined how great it would be to have a dog, a best friend to play and cuddle with every day. For her wish, Kylie wanted a fuzzy, snuggly dog that she could dress up in bows and walk around her neighborhood. On a beautiful summer afternoon, Kylie’s family decided to take her to the park to enjoy a day outside. Kylie had no idea that her parents had been secretly planning the afternoon for months. Kylie was so surprised to see the park was hosting an event for Make-A-Wish Central & Western NC: the annual Pitchin’ for Wishes Cornhole tournament. She was even more surprised when she saw a fuzzy puppy with a purple bow coming toward her. Kylie squealed with excitement when she realized her wish was coming true. She had been waiting weeks to meet her new pup and decided to name her Muffin. Make-A-Wish’s national partner, Petland, even donated an extensive care package to ensure that they had everything that a puppy could ever wish for. The gifts were presented in pink packages and included an array of glamorous accessories including dog treats, toys, and plenty of new bows. With Muffin by her side, Kylie knows she is never alone in her fight against cancer. She has found a constant source of happiness and comfort in her new best friend.


I wish to visit my best friend!

With her outgoing personality and animated demeanor, wish kid Zoey is best described as a ray of sunshine. She loves all things pink, her favorite animal is a unicorn and if given the chance, she would eat vanilla ice cream and pizza every day. At only four years-old, Zoey has courageously faced incredible hardships in her life. Being diagnosed with leukemia, she spends most of her time in doctor’s appointments and hospital visits. Through it all, Zoey fights her disease bravely and never lets her smile waver. When asked what her one-true-wish would be, Zoey shared she wished to visit her best friend, Gianna, in Lake Tahoe while staying in a cabin with a hot tub.

From the moment Zoey and her family arrived at their cozy cabin, they couldn’t believe they were finally there and that the wish was happening! The incredible house was complete with a pool table, movie room, and of course, a large hot tub! After getting settled in, it was time for Zoey and Gianna’s reunion.  Zoey squealed with excitement when she saw her best friend and the room was instantaneously filled with nonstop giggles and smiles! Together, they played in the snow, building snowmen, making snow angels and sledding!  After a day of fun, the girls couldn’t wait to warm up in the hot tub that Zoey had been envisioning for so long! Zoey’s mom captured this moment on camera and said, “I got really emotional because the picture just captured the essence of the wish – it was exactly what Zoey had wanted to do and had been talking about.”

At the end of the trip, Zoey did not want to say goodbye to Gianna, but was happy to have spent so much time with her best friend.  The trip was a much-needed escape from day-to-day life for Zoey and her family.

After the trip, her mom said, “The trip was really special because it really lifted Zoey’s spirits. Getting to see her friend and know that she still loved her even with her short hair meant so much to her.”