My name is Keren, and I am a wish parent. My son, Vincent, was diagnosed with DIPG (a brain stem tumor) on June 14, 2016. Within four days, he became a wish child. I will never forget June 28; the day his wish was granted by Make-A-Wish®Northeastern California and Northern Nevada.
Vincent was the biggest Star Wars fan I have ever met. He shared his passion with everyone who came into his path- most of all with his dad, brother and sister. When Make-A-Wish granted Vincent’s wish, to meet the Star Wars characters at our home, it truly brightened our day and gave us one of our last happy memories together. Sadly, Vincent lost his battle with DIPS three weeks after his wish was granted. I will forever treasure that very hot day in June 2016 when our entire community came together to celebrate his wish.
On our wish day it was about 110 degrees outside, but still so many of our friends and family came to be with him. My favorite part of his wish was seeing all the love around him. Everyone was sitting outside on blankets enjoying the event alongside him. Vincent loved seeing all of the Star Wars characters. Though he was non verbal at this point, I could tell how surprised and happy he was. I will never forget the moment when the characters “stormed” our street-- it was so cool! Everyone was cheering for him. In that moment we felt so loved and happy. And this is why Make-A-Wish means so much to me. It means a light in the storm. It means hope and love. We will be forever grateful.
Make-A-Wish helped Vincent and our family in so many ways. My other two children (Will, 6 and Emily, 11) didn’t know what to make of Vincent’s unexpected medical situation. They didn’t know how to react to everything that was going on with Vincent, and this wish experience was the first time they were able to have fun with their brother for the first time since his diagnoses.
Since Vincent’s wish was granted, and especially after his passing, I am finding that I just want to give back, to wish it forward. I want to help create a bright spot for a family that is going through something like we did. I want to help build and maintain connections with other wish families, as well as welcome and reach out to new ones. We were so lucky to never feel alone during our journey, and I want to help make sure that all families get the same support. We were shown so much kindness by Make-A-Wish this summer, and now I wish to reciprocate their compassion with others in the Make-A-Wish family.
-Vincent's mom, Keren