Make-A-Wish Southern Alberta delivers first in-person wish since start of lockdown restrictions
CALGARY -- A lot of wishes have been put on hold this year due to physical distancing restrictions, but Make-A-Wish Canada has been doing its best to make a few come true despite the pandemic.
“We’ve been a little bit like ninjas lately,” said April Stallings of Make-A-Wish Canada. “We drop a wish on a porch and we run away.”
On Thursday, the Southern Alberta branch of the organization was able to grant its first in-person wish since restrictions began. The Fry family, and their three-year-old son Adam, were gifted with a 26-foot camping trailer.
“We have to be pretty selective about the wishes that we are granting right now,” said Stallings, “and Adam’s (wish) is one that we determined we could do safely from a distance and make some magic happen.”
The surprise was complete with a parade of some of Adam’s favourite things – vintage vehicles, sports cars, and motorcycles. Calgary police and firefighters also joined the physically distanced celebrations.
Adam was diagnosed at birth with polymicrogyria, a condition that affects fetal brain development. He also lives with cerebral palsy which is commonly associated with polymicrogyria, but none of that affects his ability to light up a room with his smile.
Stallings said she heard from Adam’s physical therapist that he’s the happiest child she’s ever worked with.
“If you look at him,” said Jamie Fry, Adam’s father, “he’s just a happy-go-lucky guy and has brought a lot of joy into our lives.”
Make-A-Wish Canada receives a lot of wishes for camping trailers, said Stalling, especially from families with children who have limited mobility.
“It’s not just about a family getting a trailer,” said Stallings, “It’s about a family getting a whole new experience, a whole new world (that’s) opened up to them.”
Stallings said the pandemic has hit everyone hard, and Make-A-Wish Canada has been no exception, “Our donations have dropped pretty drastically.”
She encourages the public to support the organization in making wishes come true by taking part in the Make-A-Wish Southern Alberta 50/50 raffle. Tickets are available here until the end of June.