Liam began his medical journey in the summer of 2016 when he was first diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Since his diagnosis, Liam has undergone over 38 months of treatment. His first six months of treatment were the hardest and included two separate weeks of inpatient hospital stays. As he was still becoming acquainted with his new diagnosis, Liam struggled with port access, swallowing pills and experienced the draining side effects of chemotherapy. Liam also got appendicitis during his treatment and underwent an appendectomy. Despite the challenges he faced, Liam was very brave throughout his medical journey.
It was also at this point when Liam’s family learned of his eligibility for Make-A-Wish. “We found out that he was eligible from his oncologist the day after Liam’s diagnosis,” April, Liam’s mother, shares. “It was hard to grasp a fun vacation when we were just getting our heads wrapped around his diagnosis, but it was something good to think about in the midst of all the really difficult news we were dealing with.”
The eligibility filled Liam and his family with a sense of hope and excitement. As Liam was just starting his medical journey, they looked forward to an opportunity for Liam to have fun amid a difficult diagnosis. To choose his wish, him and his family met with wish granters to determine what his wish would be. His mother shares, “Liam was really interested in the Skylanders video game, and his favorite YouTuber that played the game went on a cruise,” April explains. “Liam had watched many of his videos and from there decided he just wanted to go on a big ship with a waterpark.”
Liam and his family were given an opportunity to come together as a family and have the experience of a lifetime. In preparation for his wish, Liam and his family did their research, looking up several of the excursions for each port and deciding what to do at each destination. April shares that Liam and his family also watched tours and videos about the best foods to eat. “Liam was so excited,” April recalls. We looked forward to each meeting to talk about [his] wish. We were all counting down to departure day!”
April believes that her son’s Make-A-Wish experience positively impacted him during his medial journey. “We chose to wait until Liam was done with treatment to go on his Make-A-Wish trip,” April shares. “It gave us something to look forward to after treatment was over! It was so nice to get away from all the normal schedules and be done with appointments and pills - to be able to just spend time together. It brought us closer as a family and helped us bond. We had so much fun! Make-A-Wish gives hope and joy to children and families who have been through hard times.”
Liam’s family encourages others to take the opportunity to support and show care to the organization that provides wishes to children battling life-threatening illnesses. By supporting Make-A-Wish, you can create a lasting impact on wish kids like Liam as they receive an experience of a lifetime and create lifelong memories.