Walk for Wishes to benefit Aroostook County children

12 years ago

    PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Make-A-Wish Maine will host its 12th annual Walk for Wishes at two locations this fall, including Presque Isle on Thursday, Sept. 20.
“The walk will start at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Maine at Presque Isle multipurpose room in the Campus Center, 181 Main St. Registration and check-in begins at 6:30 p.m. Walkers will make a loop around the well-lit campus,” said Lisa Gleeson, communications manager with Make-A-Wish Maine.
    Gleeson said more than 1,050 children with life-threatening illnesses in Maine have received their greatest wish since the chapter opened its doors 20 years ago. Of these wishes, over 260 have been for children in the northeast region of Maine.
“All Wish children face a life-threatening medical condition, like Hadley McLean, 9, of Presque Isle, who wishes to go to Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. Hadley’s been undergoing treatment for brain cancer,” said Gleeson.
Gleeson listed other children in the area, using first names only, who’ve either had their wishes granted or are awaiting their wish.
“Cheyanne, 8, of Easton, wished to go to Walt Disney World. She’s being treated for a kidney condition. Jada, 8, of Caribou, is wishing for a swingset. Jada has multiple life-threatening disorders. Chris, 14, of Presque Isle, wishes to be famous for a day. Chris’s medical condition includes a seizure disorder, hydrocephalus and cerebral palsy,” said Gleeson.
Gleeson said wishes give children something positive to look forward to during a difficult time.
“A wish granted replaces fear with happiness and helps a child to feel like a normal kid who is less isolated and more empowered to take back control of his/her life. More than 80 percent of parents of Wish children observed a decrease in their children’s anxieties or fears after receiving their wish,” she said.
Wishes are only possible thanks to fundraisers such as this walk and other donations.
“This is a critical fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Maine. All money raised in Maine stays in Maine to help local children. Adults who raise at least $100 and youths under 18 who raise at least $50 will receive a free Walk For Wishes T-shirt,” said Gleeson.
Walkers will also be raising funds in Ellsworth the same day. To learn more and to register for either location, visit www.maine.wish.org or call 800-491-3171.
“All walk participants can manage pledges, donations, teams and e-mails directly online,” said Gleeson.
Dozens of Maine children will have their dreams come true, thanks to Make-A-Wish Maine.
“The foundation plans to grant the wishes of over 70 seriously-ill Maine children in the next year, which averages a cost of $420,000. Each participant in the Walk For Wishes and the leading sponsor, Spectrum Medical Group, will ensure that future wishes will continue to bring hope, strength and joy to every child in Maine who is battling a life-threatening illness,” said Gleeson.