Living with liver cancer which required a transplant at the age of 18 months kept 3-year-old Sara from enjoying a lot of typical kids fun activities. She couldn’t risk being exposed to things like a simple cold, so when she wasn’t in the hospital, she was limited to her own home. She also went through two transplant rejection episodes and a liver infection. These were challenges that no child should have to face.
When her mom learned that Sara would qualify for a wish through Make-A-Wish Wisconsin, she became excited. "It means so much to see Sara have fun and just be a normal kid," said Sara’s mom. "She clicked with Darth Vader from the very beginning. It started with us being stuck in a hospital room for her treatments. I'm a ‘Star Wars’ fanatic, and she got into it too."
Sara and her mom decided that she wished to have a playdate with Star Wars characters and some of her other favorite characters. Sara’s wish coordinator and wish granters rose to the occasion, planning a playdate that went beyond all expectations. And, everyone got in on the act. The generous people at Marcus Corporation agreed to host Sara and her family for an entire weekend at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, including rooms for two nights, meals and the use of their ballroom for two days to have the playdate of a lifetime. Her wish granters along with the help of volunteers from Kohl’s set up the ballroom with a variety of play stations, toys and activities. A number of volunteers came to the table as Sara’s favorite characters, and the 501st Wisconsin Garrison agreed to bring as many Star Wars characters as possible.
On her first day, Sara enjoyed playing with some of her favorite “Trolls” and Shrek. Sara didn’t stop moving from the time she entered the room until it was time to eat. She enjoyed a meal of her favorite foods along with her friend, Shrek.
The second day, The Force was with Sara as more than a dozen Star Wars characters arrived, including Darth Vader, Storm Troopers, R2D2 and her favorite character, Sabine Wren. Thanks to our friends at the 501st Wisconsin Garrison, Sara had the time of her life, running, dueling with lite-sabers, playing soccer and laughing with all of her new friends.
Since Sara’s wish was granted, she has continued to grow stronger. This summer, she attended the Young Wishmakers of Wisconsin’s Big Bash for Kids where she enjoyed bounce houses for the first time. Thanks to her wish, Sara is beginning to enjoy being a normal kid.
There are hundreds of kids just like Sara who need to experience the power of a wish so that they can begin to heal. You can be a part of making these wishes come true. Simply visit www.wisconsin.wish.org/ways-to-help and see how a wish will impact both the life of a child as well as your own life.