In honor of our 35th Anniversary in 2019, we will be focusing on some of the more than 8,600 wishes we have granted in our history. Here is an update on a wish we granted back in 2014.
At 10 years old, Grady was diagnosed with a blood disorder and needed a bone marrow transplant. The chances that one of his parents would be an identical tissue match was about one in a million, but Grady’s father miraculously fit the bill and was able to provide the life-saving bone-marrow donation his son needed. However, the transplant was only the beginning of Grady’s treatment. After his surgery, Grady had to spend more than a year in isolation while his immune system recovered. “His time in isolation was extremely challenging for Grady, his two brothers and us,” say his parents. “We could not have made it through without each other.”
Learning that their son qualified for a wish was initially a surprise for Grady’s parents, but their fear soon gave way to hope. Grady’s mom, Amy, shares, “After the initial shock, we were very excited about his wish. It was the one thing that we could talk about that was fun. It gave us all hope. It was the light during the darkest days of our lives.”
Grady knew from the start that his wish would be to go to Disney World. Throughout his time in isolation, Grady and his family would talk about his wish almost daily. “Wishes provide a spark of happiness, during such a difficult time,” says Amy
During Grady’s wish, he loved being able to have a “normal time again” with his brothers. “He loved just having fun with them and going on all the rides and experiencing a taste of pure childhood again,” says Amy.
Five years have passed since Grady’s wish. Now a sophomore in high school, Grady plays lacrosse and loves to surf and fish. He also serves as a member of Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area’s Youth Board, acting as an ambassador for our chapter, fundraising and enjoying the opportunity to give back to other children who are in the same situation he once was.
“Grady will always be committed and connected to Make-A-Wish,” says Amy. “His experience was transformative for him. He said it was so important in his recovery to have his wish to think about.”