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How My Make-A-Wish Experience Changed My Life

It’s true. The power of a wish can change your life. It did to me. I grew up thinking that Make-A-Wish was just for little kids. However, when I was diagnosed with cancer at 15, I soon found out that wishes are granted for anyone under 18 with a life-threatening illness. At first, I was hesitant to get my Wish granted as there are so many kids that also should get the opportunity to have a Wish that need it more than me. However, after meeting with Make-A-Wish, I realized that a Wish could have a big impact on me, so I decided to make a Wish to go to London and it ended up changing my life for the better.

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London was always my dream destination. It was the epicenter of so many great authors, plays, and not to mention the hometown to almost every member of One Direction. I dreamed of meeting a Harry Styles or Zayn Malik look-a-like and having a whirlwind romance on the streets of London. It seemed like such a vibrant, fun city to visit, which is why I immediately knew that was where I wanted to go. From there, I coordinated with my Wish granter during my treatment and they put everything together: the itinerary, places to stay, restaurants to eat at, etc.  Everyone at Make-A-Wish was so kind and supportive to me at a time when I really needed it. The promise of getting my Wish granted did really give me hope throughout the rest of my treatment. Every time I felt in an immense amount of pain, I would close my eyes and dream of being in London.

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About a year later, my Wish was finally coming true. A limo parked outside my house, ready to take my family and me to the airport to fly to London. The joy I felt was indescribable. We had private tours planned to the Tower Of London, Windsor Castle and even tickets to an Adele concert. London was like my dream come true, even if I didn’t see any members of One Direction. I especially loved being surrounded by so much royal and literary history that I was fascinated with. I can’t believe I saw the burial site of the most famous writers and poets in the world like Geoffrey Chaucer, who is literally credited as the Father of English Literature. All the sights were amazing, but the best part of my Wish was being in London with my family and having us all together. It gave us a bonding experience that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. I wouldn’t have wanted to see London with anyone else. They supported me so much when I was going through treatment that we really needed the trip to bring us all together again.

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 After going to London, I was inspired to read more British Literature, eventually majoring in English in college. My Wish also made me understand how impactful a Wish can be not only just on the Wish kid, but also on their family. My family and I became extremely involved in our local Southern Nevada Make-A-Wish chapter and we will continue to keep donating and supporting Make-A-Wish. Make-A-Wish showed me how important having hope is during such a difficult time in people’s lives.

Caitlyn is a 4th-year student at UCLA! She is majoring in English and minoring in film. When she's not busy writing, she loves going to hot yoga classes and reading Jane Austen novels.
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