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Make-A-Wish making kids' dreams come true

June 7, 2013 6:16:19 PM PDT
Every 40 minutes a wish is granted for a child with a life-threatening medical condition. Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area is committed to enriching the lives of these children and there's a simple way people can help the organization make the kids' dreams come.

Alex and Jordan Stettner enjoy playing in the yard with their dad like all little boys do but unlike most kids, they're living with a lifelong illness. The boys, ages nine and five, both suffer from primary immunodeficiency.

"Their immune system works at about 30 or 40 percent of what our immune system works at. So, they're not protected against getting common illnesses like colds, flus, and it takes them longer to bounce back from having it," explained their mother Tracy.

Tracy gives her boys lifesaving transfusions so they can do things like go to school and play sports. "They're similar to a blood transfusion. They pull the plasma out of the blood and they get these transfusions once a week that give them antibodies so that they can function like normal children," she said. Alex and Jordan deal with it fairly well, but having two needles stuck in your arm every week can be a bit much.

Thanks to Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area, the boys were able to forget about their illness for a while when they had wishes granted. Alex chose to have the ultimate University of Colorado experience. That's where his parents went to school.

"I was looking forward to meeting the coach the most," he said. But he got to do a whole lot more -- like run on the field with Ralphie the Buffalo mascot during halftime. And, he got some pretty cool gifts. "This is a jersey that the quarterback gave to me," he said. It even has his name on the back. He was given a signed football, a hat with 48 signatures (to be exact), and signed gloves from Ralphie's handler with a message that read, "Alex, never underestimate the heart of a buffalo."

For Jordan's wish, the family went to a very special place in Florida. "It was the best place in the world," he said, referring to Disney World, where he rode Splash Mountain and Expedition Everest. "We had to measure and I was tall enough to go on it," he recalled. "It goes backwards, loopty-loop, in the dark, in pitch black," he said. He also met Mickey -- twice. "I just want to go there. I want to live there," he said.

Like Alex and Jordan's wishes, most wishes involve air travel and that's where you can help.

"We have been celebrating the opportunity for people to donate their miles. It's a great way to help make a wish. You've got miles that maybe you can get a magazine, maybe they're going to expire, maybe they don't have any value to you, and to make a wish, they don't expire. I can combine them with other donations and I can make a wish happen," explained Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area Executive Director Patricia Wilson.

Wilson says miles are just as important as cash donations because what's a wish without family to share it with? "We send all the immediate family and we allow them to once again be united and to feel like a family," she said.

And as a family, the Stettner's made incredible memories. They were wishes that forever changed the boys' lives. "It was everything that I expected, plus it was everything more," Jordan said.

Donating airline miles to help fulfill wishes for kids is easy to do right from your computer -- CLICK HERE.


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