This past July, you folks did something incredible: in advance of the July 31 Trade Deadline, and in support of making me blog for 37 hours straight, you donated overwhelmingly to Make-A-Wish. You did so in such amazing fashion that your efforts – about $16,500 – sponsored nearly three wishes at Make-A-Wish Illinois. That’s three kids and their families who got to experience something incredible when they needed it most.
Make-A-Wish recently emailed me about one of those experiences, and, because it was really you all who made it happen, I wanted to share it with you. Kole’s special baseball experience took place while we were raising funds in July:
Kole was captivated. As he surveyed the lush green baseball diamond he felt miles away from the stress of hospitals. Being on the baseball field at such a spectacular event was a whole new experience for Kole. Kole truly felt part of the action as he proudly wore his favorite team’s hat and respective jersey.
Kole, a laid-back 13-year-old boy, was diagnosed with life-threatening cystic fibrosis in March 2005. Kole endured chemotherapy and numerous other hospitalizations in battling this disease. However, Kole remained an up-beat boy who enjoyed being outside. He especially loved baseball. Kole told Make-A-Wish® Illinois that his most heartfelt wish was to go to the all-star game for his favorite sport, baseball. In July 2014, Kole’s wish came true when he flew with his family to Minneapolis. The day of the big game was filled with excitement for Kole and his family. He was able to go on the field and meet many of his favorite players and coaches. Kole had a constant smile on his face and there was no shortage of autographs and pictures. Kole was further impressed when he was able to see the championship trophy. The opposing team ended up winning the game, but this could not take away from all the joy surrounding the wish experience. At the end of the game the night was capped off with a colorful display of fireworks.
Back home in Morris, Kole is not soon to forget the wonderful memories of his time in Minneapolis. Kole also received White Sox tickets, which means there will be even more baseball in Kole’s future. The impact of Kole’s wish is present in the hope, strength and joy that were felt not only by Kole, but by all of those who played a part in Kole’s experience.
I am humbled to have played a small part in Kole’s experience, and I am even more humbled by the enormous part you all played in it. When you donated, something very real, and very meaningful happened for another person in this world. Thank you.
I hope that you can see that the Blogathon was about something bigger than those of us who participated, even if you did get the ancillary benefit of watching me wear this hat for 37 hours straight while churning out delirium-riddled posts.