Last February, ten-year-old Hillary was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a bone marrow stem cell disorder. Soon after her treatments began, she was referred to Make-A-Wish New Jersey.
When our volunteers visited Hillary and asked her, “If you could have one wish, what would it be?” Hillary knew exactly what she wanted. “She always sings; she loves it,” said Pete, Hillary's grandfather and guardian. “She was very excited to go into a recording studio - I was so very proud.”
Last month, Hillary visited a recording studio in Monmouth County and, with the help of Steve Jankowski and Deb Lyons, laid down 10 of her favorite songs. The tracks came from recording artists such as Taylor Swift, Jordan Sparks, Hannah Montana, Pink, Colbie Caillat and Celine Dion. “It was exciting,” Hillary said. “I sang the songs that I liked; it was fun.”
Hillary and her family were also trailed by camera crews from CBS’s “The Early Show.” CBS News was there to film Hillary’s wish for the upcoming Macy’s “Believe” and “Thanks for Sharing” campaigns. They captured her debut recording sessions and interviewed her teachers, friends, and family. “That was a surprise too,” Hillary’s grandfather recalled. “They came to school with her, going to classes and taping her indoor floor hockey game. It was pretty neat - whoever thought a national station like that would do that here? It was a good thing for Hillary to have memories like that.”
Although Hillary’s CD was made for her family and friends, her vocal talent can also be heard on another album that is available for purchase. Produced by the Sea Girt-based Billy Lawlor Band, an album entitled “A Christmas Wish” features Hillary singing “Frosty the Snowman.” All proceeds from the album sales go directly to Make-A-Wish New Jersey. Make-A-Wish® New Jersey would like to thank Billy Lawlor, Steve Jankowski and Deb Lyons for their support in making this CD possible.