One year ago, 4 year-old Wei-Jie, also known as Didi, was on the way to dropping his sister, Guo-Ting, off at kindergarten when he suffered a seizure.
Guo-Ting’s school is adjacent to the Tiburon Police Department so his parents rushed him there. Tiburon Fire Department paramedics immediately set to work on him, and helped stabilize Didi during the medical emergency. It was a harrowing experience, but some members of the Tiburon PD were already intimately familiar with life-threatening medical conditions. As it happens, one of the officers, Sergeant Allen Klemme, is a wish dad. His daughter Anniston had been granted a wish by Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area in August 2015.
Diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, Didi was later referred to Make-A-Wish himself. When his volunteer wish team first met him, they said it was clear that costumes and heroes were a very big deal to him—he even met them dressed as Iron Man. Thus when his wish to go to Hawaii to see a real volcano was approved, his mom, Kimberly, thought that it would be especially meaningful to have the Tiburon PD involved in sharing the good news with him. “Didi loves heroes and uniforms, and the Tiburon police have been part of his journey,” she says.
So, in the same room where EMTs had treated him during his seizure, the Tiburon PD, along with his Make-A-Wish volunteer team, delivered the big news. Captain Patricia Seyler, who rearranged her schedule in order to be there that day, got on the intercom to announce to the whole department that Didi’s wish to go to Hawaii would be coming true. The department not only presented Didi with a gift basket full of surprises, but they let him and his sister sit in a patrol car and turn on the sirens. “They really made it a very special event for the family” says his volunteer wish grantor, Winnie Huff. “The room was filled with balloons and happiness.”
Didi and his family recently returned from his wish to go to the Big Island in Hawaii, where he was able to see an active volcano at Volcano National Park. But his family will always remember the part the Tiburon PD played in getting him there.