Wish Week 2019: Lindsay Wickenhiser
Updated: Nov 29, 2020
In summer of 2012, my extended family traveled to Belgium to visit our cousins who had just moved there. We had the best time, and got to spend tons of quality time with our family. We left tear streaked and full of memories, expectant for our family and their journeys throughout Europe. As we flew home, my sister and I prayed that Christmas would come early so that we could see our cousins quicker.
Two weeks after we left, we got a phone call that changed the trajectory of our lives. My 11 year old cousin Anna had been diagnosed with leukemia, and she was going to be life flighted to a nearby hospital to start intensive chemotherapy. Her family quickly moved back to the United States in order to have better access to pediatric leukemia facilities. Anna went through a 2 year battle with leukemia, that had countless twists and turns. Thankfully, she responded well to the treatment and won her battle with cancer after these long years!
When we learned that my cousin had been granted a wish from Make-A-Wish, my family was absolutely floored. We never thought that her cancer would get bad enough to be treated as a terminal illness. We hadn’t come to terms with the idea that she could truly lose her life in this battle. This was the first moment that her cancer became real to us, and we were so excited for her to have this opportunity.
My cousin and her family had the opportunity to get their scuba diving licenses together. Then, through Make A Wish, they were able to travel around Australia on multiple scuba diving excursions. They traveled to Sydney, Melbourne, and elsewhere to see all of the different sea creatures! Anna had been dreaming of going to Australia since she was four years old. They had an incredible experience, and have gone on multiple scuba diving trips since. Make-A-Wish made it possible for their family to create memories that they wouldn’t have been able to create otherwise.
My family will forever be thankful for Make-A -Wish. This experience united us on a deep level and taught us to care for one another deeply. We learned to truly lift one another up in prayer and show up for each other. As we gather around for Christmas dinner each year, we thank Jesus for the opportunities that Anna got to have throughout her experience. I pray that every family who goes through something as difficult as pediatric cancer is able to have an experience like Make-A-Wish!