When I was 17 years old, after undergoing treatment for cancer, my wish was granted and my parents and I embarked on a week-long trip to Australia in April 2015. I was ecstatic, not only because we were going to Australia, but also because I was going to be able to spend the week with an Australian boy I had met while I was going through cancer treatment. He had visited the camp where I worked that summer, but had gone back home to Australia.
The week that I spent in Australia was by far one of the best weeks of my life and has had an everlasting impact on me as a person. Not a day goes by that my trip and Make-A-Wish® doesn’t cross my mind. My wish experience showed me that there is still magic and good in this world, and that there are people that devote their lives to giving children the experience of a lifetime.
Today, I am married to that Australian boy I was able to meet in person during my wish trip. Lachlan and I have been married for a little more than two years now, and we have been together as a couple for 4 ½ years. My Make-A-Wish trip was really the serious starting point to our relationship, as prior to that trip, our relationship was mainly possible only through video chats and texting. The week of my wish trip brought us even closer and allowed for my parents to feel comfortable enough to let me go back to Australia for school. Lachlan and I might not be where we are today without my Make-A-Wish experience; married, with our 6-month-old miracle baby girl.
It’s really amazing to see how my Make-A-Wish experience has come full circle. Every year for the past couple of years, my parents and I have helped with Walk on the Wild Side, an event organized by Make-A-Wish Central New York (the chapter that granted my wish) and our local zoo, The Wild Animal Park (where my husband works). We usually get to see my wish granters there. This year, I am so excited to introduce them to our newest family edition – our baby, Harper. I’ve always been happy to be a wish ambassador; it brings a whole new level of excitement showing Harper that there are real life angels in this world who have personally helped us get where we are today.
The Hugs and Wishes series could not be more fitting for me, because I truly believe that Make-A-Wish is love. It is an organization full of people who are changing lives and making dreams come true every day. What better example of love is there?
Photos courtesy of Michaela Dinte
HELP GRANT WISHES LIKE MICHAELA’S TODAY! A wish can help children with critical illnesses feel better and give them the hope and strength they need to fight harder against an illness. It unites families in life-changing moments that help them cope and grow stronger. You can help grant a wish for one of these children today. GIVE NOW
Show us some love this week by posting your favorite Make-A-Wish memories to Facebook or Twitter using #HugsAndWishes and #SpreadLove. Read the full “Hugs and Wishes” blog series here!