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Making Dreams Come True

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The energy in the room is palpable because you know the money being raised is granting the wish of a little one, who's seriously sick. 

In North Dakota, fifty kids are diagnosed with a life threatening illnesses," says Make a Wish Foundation President and CEO, Billi Jo Zielinski. "We want to make sure we are reaching everyone."

But, reaching all of those kids wouldn't be possible without the help from the Make a Wish volunteers. 

"There's so many good people to work with," says volunteer, Glenda Jennings. "It's here in North Dakota and it's fun to be part of the community...see what's going on and see who needs help."

And helping sick kids is what they're here to do...

"They get to forget about the disease and they get to have fun like everyday people do," says Jennings. "And they don't have to think about doctors appointments and just things that kind of weigh them down. They can be happy and have fun for a while."

Jack Parrish is a Lego aficionado and a lover of roller coasters, but two years ago, he got very sick was airlifted to the Mayo Clinic. 

"I had an infection that was making me forget stuff, and I couldn't remember my mom, but I could remember my uncle and stuffed dog," says Parrish. "And I had to stay in the hospital for six weeks."

But because of Make a Wish, his dream to go to Disney World was granted...

"First, we went to Disney World's Magic Kingdom," says Parrish. "Then the next day we went to the Universal Studios, and then Sunday we went to Epcot and the Animal Kingdom in Disney."

And volunteers say, one of the best parts is that the prognosis for some kids isn't always bad news.

"We've had kids with serious, serious diseases that are adults now and have come back and become volunteers, so that's the best part," says Jennings. 

So, what keeps these volunteers staying positive? 

"The smiles,"says Jennings. "Those smiles get me every time. And that smile just says everything. They say a picture paints a thousand words-so do the smiles."

So,  there you have it. The Make a Wish Foundation, and those who work for it, are not only giving something back to the community, they're brightening the future for kids and families who might be having some trouble finding the light. 

 

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