Wish Stories

The Rainbow Connection Grants Wishes for Kids Facing Illness – Oakland County Times

(Ashley Adamek, March 27, 2019)

Check out our “Get Involved Guide” for more stories about local organizations. Thank you to Bosco Lounge for sponsoring this series.

Rochester, MI – Every child dreams of what he or she will be when they grow up, but how many of those children actually get to experience the magic of a dream come true?  Aidyn was diagnosed with Leukemia at only 3 years old.  Throughout all of the tests, hospital gowns, and medication, Aidyn dreamed of being a police officer.

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Antonino’s Wyoming Wish

Wish Child Antonino wanted to check out some “real snow” for his wish!

The Rainbow Connection sent him on his once in a lifetime wish trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming where he and his family experienced some of the BEST skiing in the country! The city of Jackson Hole went out of their way to treat he and his family to a special dinner, provide passes to exclusive outdoor events and wonderful accommodations that were fit for a king!

James’ Dream Came True!

James’ dream came true at the Happiest Place on Earth! James, his parents and brother and sister had a blast at Universal, Disney World, Sea World and Give Kids the World. Their experience brought tears of gratitude, giggles of joy and eyes of wonder and awe.

James’ Mom shares, “This trip brought so much joy to our family after two years of an emotional rollercoaster. It was a great time of gratitude that James is rockin’ his recovery!” We are so happy that James is doing well and had an unforgettable wish trip with his family!

Mason Meets the Despicable Me Minions

Mason always dreamed of meeting the Disney Minions and last year his wish came true! Mason’s mom shared that he was ecstatic to meet the Minions and still looks at pictures that were taken of him and the characters. The whole family enjoyed all of the theme parks and seeing Mason’s favorite animals up close in Animal Kingdom!

Mason and his big sister, Paige, loved staying at Give Kids the World and taking advantage of all the amenities. Swimming in the big pool with all the other kids was a family favorite! Like many of our wish families, Mason’s wish trip was his family’s first family vacation!

Stephen’s Canine Experience

Stephen LOVES Police and Fire, but especially those that work with the K-9 unit.  Michigan State Police helped us show Stephen a fantastic time as they dedicated an entire day to “train” Stephen.

He spent the day training with troopers, running tracks for the dogs, rewarding the canines, and arresting the bad guys!  Stephen was even named an honorary  member of the MSP Canine Unit!

It was an unforgettable day for Stephen and  MSP troopers!

A once in a lifetime fishing trip for Nick!

When we first met Nick in June of 2017, he was in the middle of his treatment protocol for cancer.  He shared that it would be his dream come true to go on a fishing trip in Alaska with his family!

Nick’s focus never wavered and exactly one year later he and his parents were bound for Anchorage!  The family drove two hours south to Seward where his fishing excursion began. They were amazed by Alaska’s striking scenery and even enjoyed some hiking along the way.

A private charter fishing company hosted Nick and his family as they enjoyed VIP treatment aboard the boat.  He experienced two days of superior fishing and traveled exclusively with the crew as they fished for salmon and halibut.  As you can see from Nick’s picture, they made quite a catch!

“A once in a lifetime experience” is how mom Tracey described it.  They took home cherished family memories AND 165 pounds of fish!  Nick and his family had the time of their lives! His trip was truly a dream come true!

Liam’s Dream Came True!

What an amazing journey for 17 year old Wish Child, Liam! His entire world was turned upside down when he was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. His determination and positive attitude have allowed him to overcome every obstacle. We met with Liam and he was quite entertaining when he spoke about his one and only true wish. Liam wanted to meet Mark Wahlberg! Thanks to help from our Rainbow Connection friends, Liam’s wish came true!

Recently, Mark invited Liam to visit him in Minneapolis for the grand opening of his new Walburgers restaurant at the Mall of America. Liam and his mom first attended a VIP party with Mark and several other celebrities. Mark then joined Liam at his table and ate burgers, and chatted about sports, life and movies! Liam is still smiling as he thinks about his incredible dream come true!

ITC Made Emma’s Wish Come True!

Emma was just 13 months old when her mother took her in due to some medical concerns. It was with great shock that they found out that their beautiful spunky little girl was diagnosed with Ependymoma, a form of brain cancer. In a heartbeat, their whole lives changed. Emma, her parents and big sister, Maci, live in South Lyon. Ann Arbor and Mott Children’s Hospital at U of M quickly became their second home. 2 days after being diagnosed, Emma had emergency surgery and her brain tumor was able to be fully resected. It was determined that Emma’s tumor was Stage 3 which was the most aggressive form of that tumor. Emma then underwent 6 months of chemotherapy and has scans every 3 months. This form of brain tumor has a very high rate of recurrence – and even with those statistics Emma has remained cancer free for nearly 4 years!

After all of her treatment was complete, and she was ready to go on her wish, Emma decided she wanted to go to Disney World and meet the princesses. Emma’s wish came true just last month! Emma’s mom wanted to share the details of her wish:

“We just returned from the most magical wish trip to Disney World and the experience was much more than a vacation. Words cannot express the way our family feels about the Rainbow Connection. They made this vacation so special for our whole family. From the limo that took us to and from the airport, to most amazing accommodations at Give Kids The World and red carpet treatment at Disney World. It was so special to see Emma smiling so much all week. She was back to her old carefree self that she was prior to her treatment. It was amazing to see her become so outgoing throughout the week. From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank the Rainbow Connection for making Emma’s dream come true. Not only did this very special wish make Emma feel like a princess, it also included her older sister which means so much to us. Words cannot express the gratitude we have for each of you.  Thank you for making Emma’s wish come true!”


Caleb’s Disney Dream

Caleb is 4 years old and lives in Ypsilanti. He is in treatment for a brain tumor and is doing very well!

Like many 4 year old boys, he loves watching cartoons, coloring and playing outside.

In October, Caleb went on his wish trip to Disney World. He stayed at Give Kids the World Village where he met Santa Clause (and celebrated Christmas in October!) Santa even agreed to wear a Star Wars hat to match Caleb.

He met all of his favorite Disney characters and especially liked hanging out with Buzz Lightyear. Caleb enjoyed all of the new attractions at The Animal Kingdom AND got to swim EVERY night at Give Kids The World!

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