Twins Julia and Jamie are alike in virtually every way, except for one: Julia has been battling a connective tissue disorder.
The toughest moment for Jamie came when Julia had surgery to insert her port. “I just sat next to her and cried about it” says Jamie, but she knew ultimately it was the right thing to do to help her twin fight her disorder. “It was obviously super hard seeing her be sick for days at a time,” says Jamie, but the treatment made them closer.
It didn’t take long for Julia to choose her wish when the opportunity came. She had seen images of over-the-water huts online, and thought “Oh my gosh, that’s such a beautiful place. So tropical and beautiful!” She wanted to go there without thinking it would ever be possible. Says Jamie, “We’d always talked about going” and once Julia learned her wish would be granted, “it was a positive vibe through the house, like ‘look what you have to look forward to!’” For Jamie, one of the best parts of the trip was sitting at the bungalow, legs dangling in the water while fish nibbled her toes. For Julia, it was the snorkeling and hanging out at the beach. Plus, “It let us break away from reality. We weren’t always worried about doctors’ appointments.”
After returning from the trip last June, Julia had an inspiration: she would hold a fundraiser to try to make another child’s wish come true. When she asked for Jamie’s help, Jamie pushed back a little—“are you sure?” she asked Julia. “It sounds like a lot of work.” But Julia was determined, and she and her sister set a goal of raising $5,000. The girls acquired silent auction packages, raffle prizes and live auction items, along with a taco truck to provide food. Before the doors even opened, the twins had raised $3,500. By the end of the night, they had surpassed $19,000—enough to grant approximately two wishes in their entirety. “It feels great knowing that we raised that much money to make another child’s wish come true,” says Julia.
Now high school graduates, Julia and Jamie are headed off to the same college in the fall, and both plan to study nursing. Jamie wants to be a pediatric nurse practitioner after seeing the way the nurses treated her sister with “all the positive energy.” Julia wants to be a flight nurse and work in a trauma center.