The Wishmaker Walk for Wishes is on Sunday. Participating in the event is probably the closest someone can come to being a fairy godmother or a magician capable of granting wishes to children.
It is the largest and most important fundraising event for the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada and is expected to raise $1 million in pledges. It allows the organization to never refuse an eligible child a wish.
Eligible children are those, like nine-year-old Emily Taylor, who have life-threatening illnesses.
While relatively healthy now, there was a time when Emily would faint, and her heart would stop. She had a pacemaker implanted at age five. Her mom, Mandy, noted that Emily was never diagnosed with any particular disease or named cause.
“Emily has a heart condition,” Mandy said. “Since she’s had her pacemaker, she’s been good.”
Mandy explained that the family, which has lived in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows for 11 years, was referred to Children’s Wish by someone they knew. It took Emily about a year and a half to decide on her wish. In the end, she chose Disney World over Disneyland because of the special area there for special kids.
“We went for a week,” Mandy said. “At Disney World they have a place called Give Kids the World for wish kids. It’s the most awesome place.”
Emily’s whole family went on the trip. Her 11-year-old brother Caleb, mom, and dad, Clayton, had a week’s accommodation in one of the special villas in the Give Kids the World park.
Ice cream for breakfast, a life-sized Candyland game, and a different event each night were just some of the experiences Mandy noted in the unique, volunteer run village attached to Disney World.
What made Emily’s wish come true was the support of wishmakers who gathered pledges just like the participants in Sunday’s event will. It starts at Heritage Hall at 12460 Harris Rd. in Pitt Meadows with registration at 1:30 p.m. and the walk at 3 p.m.
Emily will be at the walk manning a lemonade stand. Mandy noted how important it is to the family that they give back.
“We would just like to be able to help fundraise, to help as many children as possible, to be able to have their wishes granted,” she said. “Just to be able to give back.”
Mandy spoke about her point of view before Emily’s heart condition.
“You never think you’re going to have sick kids. I donated to Children’s Hospital before, but you never think you’re going to need it,” she noted. “The kids there [at Give Kids the World] have a little bit of everything. Some look healthy like Emily, while others, you can tell have more serious conditions.”
Register or find out more about the walk at www.wishmaker.ca.
@ Copyright 2013