17-year-old Megan is an avid and dedicated volunteer at Make-A-Wish® New Jersey. Here, she reflects on her inspiration behind supporting the organization - getting her own wish granted!
When I was only 18 months old, I was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness called Pompe Disease. Back then there was no treatment, no cure. My doctors told my parents to take me home and enjoy their remaining time with me, but my parents refused to take that resignation for an answer. My father immediately began searching for a cure, and later, a longtime family friend referred me to Make-A-Wish. I knew my wish to go to Disney World would be just the thing to raise my family’s spirits!
We jetted off to Orlando, Florida for the trip of a lifetime! My family and I stayed at the “Give Kids the World” resort, which seemed like something straight from a fairytale. They performed a live showing of “Beauty and The Beast,” where my dad was picked to play the beast! My four-year-old self thought it was hysterical! Afterwards, we were swept off to Mickey and Minnie’s house, which I didn’t want to leave until I had met Mickey and Minnie. Little did I know that the next morning, we were going to have breakfast with them – in fact, we had breakfast with all of the Disney characters. Cinderella even kissed my cheek, and I promptly refused to let anyone wash my face ever again.
The next day, the one and only Barney met us for a private meet and greet. My brother, Patrick, and I were so excited we could hardly stay calm. As with many children, Barney was our idol! But all too soon, our stay in “The Happiest Place on Earth,” drew to a close, so I bought a beautiful Princess Jasmine costume to show my friends at home and remind me of everything that happened during my wish - the princesses, the joy, and my favorite turtle ride at the resort. We wrapped up our trip with Disney’s famous fireworks show at Cinderella’s castle—everyone thought it was spectacular!
I am now 17 years old and entering my senior year of high school. While I cannot remember every detail about my trip, I can say without a doubt that my Make-A-Wish experience made my quality of life 1,000 times better. My family and I have been involved with the foundation ever since my wish, attending numerous events and donating time and money whenever possible. In lieu of gifts for my 14th and 16th birthdays, I donated to Make-A-Wish and granted another girl her own wish of a Sweet 16. I am currently working as a volunteer at Make-A-Wish New Jersey and my dad is serving on Make-A-Wish America’s National Board. I cannot describe what Make-A-Wish has done for my family and me, or how much I love giving back to the organization that has given me so much. Make-A-Wish is a phenomenal foundation and I am happy to be a part of it!