I’m speechless. Words are not enough to adequately describe my emotion of joy, hope, and gratitude.
Prior to six months ago, if you would have told me I would have the opportunity to “make a wish,” I wouldn’t have even known how to respond. I probably would have thought I heard you wrong, or you accidentally said that statement to the wrong person.
But that is how God works.
“You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity.” Philippians 4:19 (The Message)
Soon after my diagnosis, my sweet friend, Danielle Dias told me she was going to apply me for the Make a Wish Foundation. Full of fear and denial, that was a huge pill to swallow. I thought to myself, “I am not dying. I don’t have cancer. Why would I ever even be considered for a wish?”
I quickly brushed the idea aside.
Danielle went to work on Make a Wish.
Make a Wish went to work on my mom.
Without my knowledge, they got the paperwork and made the phone call to my doctors for medical eligibility approval. They got all the information to Make a Wish.
I was approved.
After my diagnosis, my dream of attending an out of state college was shattered. I couldn’t pick up my life and move it when I didn’t even have a good grasp on the life I had here.
Staying close to home was my only option. I wrestled with the idea of trying to make leaving home happen until I toured California State University Sacramento.
I fell in love with the local campus that was emerging as a destination school where my dad graduated from in 1993.
My dad’s alma mater became my dream.
My future alma mater became my wish.
I met with Make a Wish to outline exactly what I wanted my dream to entail. This experience is something I will never forget. I am forever thankful for everyone who devotes time and money to this foundation.
Showing up at the Make A Wish Wishing Place was positively overwhelming. It’s the place wishes call home. We dreamed of wishes to have, to go, to meet, and wishes to be…
We dreamed and finally I was asked, “Maddie what is your wish?”
The meeting alone was a life altering moment. Wow, I have had several of these moments this past year.
And then I spoke it.
“My wish is to graduate college debt free.”
My Wish Maker looked at me a bit surprised that I passed up meeting Bieber or going shopping in Paris. Those moments would pass, but to graduate and not be straddled with debt was more practical and could change the course of my future.
I dropped my wish in the wishing tower and said a little prayer in my heart. Softly playing in the background was “When you wish upon a star…”
With the help of a dear friend, Gino Platina, and his connections to Sac State, my wish started to look more like a reality.
The whole “wish team” dotted our “I’s” and crossed our “T’s”. Because there was a limit on the financial piece from Make a Wish, the plan was for me to attend Folsom Lake Community College for two years and then transfer on a fast track to Sac State with the plan of graduating in a total of four years debt free. This plan ensured, my funds would be maximized.
I was completely thankful for this team that made it their mission to make my wish come true. I was set with this plan, ready to make it happen. Talk about a dream team.
But God wasn’t done yet.
After about a month of planning to stay at Folsom Lake Community College, and now in my last week of high school, my mom received an unexpected phone call.
A third-party had called Make a Wish and told them they wanted to anonymously and completely fund me through all four years at Sac State.
Yes, you read that correctly.
All. Four. Years.
I can’t help but feel like Pip in Great Expectations. For those who understand this references, I can assure you, I won’t make the same mistakes that Pip did.
As I’m sure you can imagine, tears flooded not only my family, but the close friends I told.
Later that night, I ran into Danielle, the angel who got this ball moving. I told her the news and we both wept.
To Danielle: Thank you for walking out life with me and reminding me to praise God on both the mountain tops and in the valleys of life.
To the Anonymous Donor(s): Your generosity is beyond words. Your compassion has made an indelible mark on my soul and created a tattoo on my heart to always pay it forward. Though you want nothing in return, except to be unknown, I will make good on your investment in me. As a benefactor who I may never get to meet, thank, or honor- my life’s impact will be propelled because you saw a little girl with a big potential.
Your return on investment will be my continued pursuit to change the world around me. My voice will echo for generations because of your willingness to believe in me.
To Make a Wish: Your mission has changed the trajectory of millions. I AM one in a million.
God continues to surprise me. He has never left my side. He has always, and will always provide and give me exactly what I need. All I need to do, is continue to honor and trust him. How could I not?
Forever giving Him all the glory,
This wish was made true because of Make-A-Wish in partnership with Sacramento State and the generosity and kindness of a local donor.