Vance, a 14-year-old boy, who enjoys spending time with his two brothers and experiencing new things. One of his favorite things to do is exploring outside catching Pokémon on the Pokémon Go app. Vance is unique from other boys his age because he has been diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). ALCL is a blood cancer that occurs when cells of the immune system grow and multiply uncontrollably. Because of his condition, Vance and his family have spent countless hours in doctor’s offices and treatments and were in need of quality time together outside of the hospital. It was at this point that Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida stepped in to grant Vance a wish!
To discover what Vance might want as his one true wish, two Wish Granters went to his home to meet with him. Vance has always been fascinated with traveling the country and discovering new places, and of course Pokémon. He had done his research and learned that there are rare Pokémon that he could only catch in California. For this reason he excitedly chose his wish – to go to Los Angeles, California, and catch new Pokémon!
Vance and his family set off to LA where they would start the trip of a lifetime. Once they arrived, Vance was eager to begin his adventure exploring the city and hunting down new Pokémon. His first stop was the Hollywood Wax Museum which was filled with all of Vance’s favorite celebrities. Vance captured several unforgettable pictures with his favorite wax figures all while catching Pokémon along the way.
His Los Angeles adventure continued when he arrived at the Santa Monica Pier. Vance had the opportunity to visit the aquarium, play arcade games, go on rides, and eat tons of Ice Cream! He also got to explore the beach seeking out more rare Pokémon in the area. “The Santa Monica Pier was definitely Vance’s favorite part of the trip. He did NOT want to leave; he was finding rare Pokémon there. He was so excited,” stated Vance’s mother Adrianne. He finished off his wish by visiting the U.S.S. Midway Museum, where he explored an aircraft carrier ship with an extensive collection of aircrafts.
This wish was exactly what Vance and his family needed. A chance to be together, laugh, and make new fun memories. “Make-A-Wish offers hope and fun in the times when families are suffering and dealing with life-threatening illnesses,” continued his mother, “they allow families to step away from the sickness, worry, stress and panic, if only for a little while, and they bring priceless smiles and memories that will last a lifetime.”
96% of parents surveyed said that the wish experience strengthened their families. Vance will continue to battle through Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma with renewed strength derived from the hope and joy the wish experience brought to him and his family. A wish is more than a nice thing, a wish brings joy to critically ill children that gives them an edge in conquering their illnesses. You can help transform the lives of children like Vance.
Learn how by visiting cnfl.wish.org.