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Make-A-Wish® Oregon




For four-year-old Cason and his family, his wish to go to Walt Disney World® Resort meant more than just a vacation; it served as a light at the end of a long tunnel and gave them a chance to celebrate the future. From the Curious George exhibit at Universal Studios Florida® to his new autographed Mickey Mouse toy, Cason loved it all. “He was just all smiles,” said his mom Sara. Cason also overcame his shyness on the trip – not afraid to run up to the characters and give them hugs. His mom says he talks about his wish experience and looks through his scrapbook all the time, a reminder of how a tough chapter in his life was transformed into a happy ending.

Things didn’t really sink in for Angelica until she More importantly, Angelica said the wish got off the plane and heard that tell-tale accent. experience brought her family closer together. That’s when she “We bonded more realized she made it. than ever. We were She was finally there. “IT WAS LIKE A CHOOSE happy that we were “Oh, my gosh!” she together and didn’t YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!” have to worry about exclaimed, “We’re in Australia!” my medical stuff.” She says they now Angelica is fascinated with koalas and has have something to look back on that doesn’t always wanted to see another country. So when involve her being sick. she got a chance to have her wish granted, she wished to go to Australia. It was a once-in-alifetime chance for her family to travel overseas together. She said the trip was the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation. Among the highlights were a tour of the Sydney Harbor on a jetboat, a visit to the beautiful and majestic Blue Mountains, and a tour of the Sydney Opera House. “It was breathtaking and amazing,” said Angelica, who used to play the violin in her high school orchestra. Her favorite part of the trip was the koala encounter at Featherdale Wildlife Park where she got to cuddle and pet several koalas. “I was so happy; it was so amazing.” One of the marsupials even tried to play with her hair.

Angelica, 17, West Linn Illness: severe lymphedema I wish to go to Australia

We dedicate this newsletter to the memory of the wish children who have passed away in the past year. Each child has touched our lives and hearts. As always, it is our honor and privilege to serve such courageous children and their families.

OUR MISSION Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

ABOUT OUR CHAPTER Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of volunteers and donors, the special wishes of more than 2,900 local children have been fulfilled since the Oregon chapter began in 1983. Of each dollar spent in 2012, 85 cents were used for program services, 11 cents for fundraising and 4 cents for management. If you’re interested in making a donation of time, money, product or service, please call 800-934-WISH or visit

OUR THANKS Sincere thanks to Lithtex Printing Solutions for discounting its printing services for the production of this newsletter. Published by Make-A-Wish Oregon Also serving Clark County, Washington 2000 SW 1st Avenue, Suite 410 Portland, Oregon 97201 800-934-WISH

LETTER FROM LAILA – OREGON CHAPTER CEO It has been an incredible year. While celebrating 30 years of granting wishes in Oregon and Southwest Washington, I reconnected with many of the chapter’s founders. The tenacity of this group is responsible for the more than 2,900 wishes granted by this chapter since its inception. At the beginning, this group had to ask every month, “Can we raise the money to grant one more wish?” They knew the answer had to be yes, as they had experienced firsthand the extraordinary impact of a wish. The thrill of getting to meet our chapter’s first wish father and to hear him talk about his son, Sam, and his wish as if it were yesterday was another highlight of the year. It’s something I will never forget. Equally amazing was Atticus’ wish to play against the Portland Timbers. It gave a spark to the idea of involving the larger community directly in granting wishes, and I can’t wait to see where that fire goes. To have been at the chapter for a third of its lifetime is an awesome responsibility, and I look forward to working together with the amazing staff and volunteers to take this organization to the next level. Together, let’s grant more wishes for some of the coolest kids on the planet.

Best wishes,


Laila Cook CEO Make-A-Wish Oregon

Join the conversation and share your Make-A-Wish story online. You can find us at:

©2013, Make-A-Wish Oregon, Volume 28 Make-A-Wish Foundation®, Make-A-Wish®, AdoptA-Wish®, Share the Power of a Wish®, Walk for Wishes®, Kids For Wish Kids®, Season of Wishes®, Wishes in Flight®, Wishmakers on Campus® and the swirl-and-star logo are all registered trademarks of the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of America. All Rights Reserved.

VOLUNTEERS MAKE AN IMPACT Make-A-Wish volunteers wear many hats. Our wish-granting volunteers play a vital role in the wish process by helping to determine and deliver a child’s one true wish. But we would not be able to create special experiences for each child without our volunteers who donate their time and talents in other unique ways. We have volunteers who see wish children off at the airport, assist at events, come into the office to stuff envelopes, enter data, wrap presents, make scrapbooks, take photos, or whatever else needs to be done. In order to continually grant memorable wishes, we need caring individuals to join our team. We are in particular need of volunteers who speak Spanish. To learn more about becoming a volunteer, go to


Our Community Comes Together Community involvement is essential in helping Make-A-Wish accomplish its mission. Through the support of businesses large and small, local professionals, students and the general public, we are able to share the power of a wish®. These are some of the many wishes that came true because of community members like you.

What started as a wish to scrimmage against the Portland Timbers with his soccer team turned into a story of how eight-year-old Atticus united a community. More than 3,000 people came to JELD-WEN Field and watched Atticus lead his team, the Green Machine, to a 10-9 victory. Later, Atticus told his dad, “This was the best day of my life.” Days before her trip to Walt Disney World® Resort to dine with princesses, five-year-old Sierra received the royal treatment from students at Skyview High School. Not only did they raise money for Make-A-Wish, they took part in Sierra’s send-off party complete with princesses, a photo booth, singing and dancing.

Eight-year-old Geovanni of Salem is battling lymphoma. Because of his weakened immune system, he isn’t able to get out of his house often. So for his wish, he wanted to go on a shopping spree at his favorite store, Sears. It was a shopping trip fit for a star. When he stepped into the limousine, Geovanni said, “It feels like being in a movie.” As the limo pulled up to Sears, a crowd of employees greeted him. They rolled out the red carpet and even made him a customized Sears nametag. Geovanni was then presented with his shopping cart and escorted to the clothing section where he filled the cart in a matter of minutes. Then it was off to electronics to buy a new television. After Sears, he went to GameStop where he was surprised with a gift card, which he used to buy a Wii console and video games. Geovanni says he loves his new video games and plans to share them with his friends. His father says Geovanni has a strong will to live and this shopping spree has given him things that he can do as he continues to fight cancer.

When evil aliens descended upon Earth, Bryan jumped into action. He and 25 brave friends fought monsters such as the armored silverback gorilla and the flying lizard. It was part of his wish to have his 9th birthday party in the theme of his favorite Cartoon Network hero, Ben 10. Two rounds of laser tag later, Bryan and his crew proved victorious. Cooper wished to go to Star Wars™ Weekend at Walt Disney World® Resort to learn to be a Jedi Knight. But before he officially enlisted, R2D2 and a legion of Stormtroopers from Cloud City Garrison showed up at Cooper’s house to make him a young cadet and gave him some tips on using a light saber. Make-A-Wish Oregon 3


ALAN Alan, 4, Ridgefield Illness: neuroblastoma I wish to go to Disneyland® Resort

Madison, 6, Beaverton Illness: intractible epilepsy I wish to have a playhouse

BENNET Bennet, 4, Portland Illness: brain cancer I wish to go to Roar & Snore at the San Diego Zoo

LILIA Lilia, 12, Portland Illness: Hodgkin’s disease I wish to go salmon fishing in Oregon

LYDIA Lydia, 18, Eugene Illness: brain tumor I wish to go to Hawaii


MARCO Marco, 6, Medford Illness: non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma I wish to go to Walt Disney World® Resort

Christian, 9, Madras Illness: Duchenne muscular dystrophy I wish to go to Hawaii

ZOPHIA Zophia, 6, Paisley Illness: Wilms’ tumor I wish to have a Maltese puppy

GRANT WILLIAM William, 7, Enterprise Illness: hypoplastic left heart syndrome I wish to go to Walt Disney World® Resort


Grant, 16, Yacolt Illness: transposition of the great arteries I wish to go to Hawaii

ARIEL Ariel, 11, Corbett Illness: craniopharyngioma I wish to go to Breyerfest


GEANNA Geanna, 16, Vancouver Illness: limb-girdle muscular dystrophy I wish to go to Hersheypark®



Elijah, 14, Tualatin Illness: acute lymphoblastic leukemia I wish to go on a Caribbean cruise

Sarah, 16, Wilsonville Illness: gangliocytoma I wish to go to Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas

TY Ty, 14, La Grande Illness: hypoplastic left heart syndrome I wish to go to WrestleMania®

CHEHAYLA Chehayla, 7, Salem Illness: cystic fibrosis I wish to go to Walt Disney World® Resort

ELLEN Ellen, 17, Portland Illness: ovarian cancer I wish to go to Hawaii

LANDEN Landen, 8, Eugene Illness: acute lymphoblastic leukemia I wish to go to Walt Disney World® Resort

JORDAN Jordan, 18, Portland Illness: cystic fibrosis I wish to have a laptop computer

RAMON Ramon, 13, Salem Illness: Duchenne muscular dystrophy I wish to go on a Toys ‘R Us shopping spree

Make-A-Wish Oregon expresses its sincere thanks to Disneyland® Resort, Walt Disney World ® Resort and The Walt Disney Company ® for their generous in-kind support of making children’s wishes come true.

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1. Beaverton High School has donated more than $100,000 through its annual Week of Wishes over the past 13 years. 2. In 2013, Sigma Chi fraternity at the University of Oregon hosted a campus-wide competition, raising more than $70,000. 3. Skyview High School’s annual Mr./Ms. Skyview Pageant raised $60,000 in 2013.

More than 75% of the wishes granted each year in Oregon and Southwest Washington require travel. Every mile donated helps local wish kids travel to their dream destinations. Once donated, your miles will never expire. Make-A-Wish Oregon accepts miles from Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways. You hold the ticket to a child’s wish™ – donate your frequent flier miles by visiting




Over the past year, the passion, hard work and dedication from local students of all ages have made life-changing impacts in the lives of other children through the Kids For Wish Kids® and Wishmakers On Campus® programs. Both progams enable students to participate in philanthropy by creating and managing their own fundraising projects. In 2013, the programs raised more than $175,000 throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. Some of the fundraisers were done in memory of friends who received a wish from Make-A-Wish Oregon. All were done to bring hope and happiness to the many brave children battling life-threatening medical conditions.

MAKE WISHES COME TRUE BEYOND YOUR LIFETIME Elijah is a 14-year-old from Tualatin who wished to go on a Caribbean cruise. He was able to take a break from his treatments for Burkitt’s leukemia and take his family along for the trip of a lifetime. One of Elijah’s favorite parts of the cruise was being able to swim in the clear, blue ocean water. Elijah’s wish was made possible by the generosity of Virginia Wagner, who left a bequest in her will to help establish an endowment fund. Make-A-Wish resonated with Virginia because she knew that a child with a life-threatening medical condition has a profound impact on the rest of the family. It was important to her that siblings could enjoy a wish as well. Seeing Elijah smile with his brother on this trip, we know we are honoring Virginia’s lasting wishes. If you would like to include Make-A-Wish Oregon in your estate plans, you can use the following language: “I give, devise and bequeath to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oregon (EIN: 82-0385049) located at 2000 SW 1st Avenue, Suite 410, Portland, Oregon 97201 the sum of _____ dollars (or ____% of my estate, or the residual of my estate, otherwise describe the gift) for the general purposes and uses of the Foundation at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

Nine-year-old Cason of Cornelius received his wish to see wolverines in Alaska thanks to the generosity of Alaska Airlines.


If you would like to discuss a gift to the endowment or additional methods of giving, please contact Kara Post at 503-802-6071 or

M A KE -A-WI SH ORE GON ADOPT-A-WISH ® PARTNERS Wish Ball is Make-A-Wish Oregon’s re-imagined annual celebration of the many wishes granted, as well as those that we hope to make come true in the coming year. The gala takes place Saturday, November 2, 2013, at the Governor Hotel in downtown Portland. Throughout the evening, we will highlight local wish recipients and learn more about the magic that Make-A-Wish creates. It will be an evening of dancing, appetizers, cocktails, silent auctions and fun to support the meaningful work that Make-A-Wish Oregon does in the community.

The following is a partial listing of supporters who donated enough money to adopt wishes in their communities. BUFFALO WILD WINGS


Visit to learn more and to purchase tickets.

Bryce, 14, Woodburn I wish to have an entertainment center LAWYERS TITLE Hannah, 15, Beaverton I wish to go on a cruise MADRAS SPEEDWAY Christian, 8, Madras I wish to go to Hawaii PIETRO’S PIZZA Ragen, 13, Salem I wish to meet the cast of my favorite TV show SIZZLING SUMMER CAR & HOT ROD SHOW Chloe, 12, Tualatin I wish to go to SeaWorld®


Each holiday season, you can transform lives in our community by supporting Season of Wishes. During the month of December, local businesses host various fundraisers to support Make-A-Wish Oregon. A complete list of ways you can make your holiday season more special while making local wishes come true is listed on

PRESENTED BY BEAVERTON CROSSFIT Brayden, 3, Hillsboro I wish to go on a cruise

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Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 3460 Portland, OR

MAKE-A-WISH® OREGON Also Serving Clark County, Washington 2000 SW 1st Avenue, Suite 410 Portland, Oregon 97201 503-292-2280 800-934-WISH fax 503-292-9423


Wish Inspires Jaime Mathis

Jaime and her new friend, Jetta, in 1990.

Make-A-Wish Oregon volunteers first met Jaime when she was 11 years old, shortly after her cancer relapsed. She knew that if she was to beat this illness again, she would need help. This help came in the form of a wish to have a Morgan horse. Jaime said the horse, named Jetta, gave her a newfound source of energy to keep fighting. “It could run, jump and pull. It showed me that anything was possible,” she said in a television interview. “It inspired me to want to live.” Jaime with her husband Tobias and son Espen.

Decades later, the wish has inspired Jaime to give back and help other children fulfill their wishes. In 2012, she embarked on a 500-mile hike along the Camino de Santiago – a network of pilgrimage routes across Spain – to raise money for Make-A-Wish. She’s also volunteered her time to speak at local Make-A-Wish events. She says as an adult, the wish serves as a constant reminder of the goodness of humanity and the power of dreams.

2014 Make-A-Wish Oregon Newsletter  
2014 Make-A-Wish Oregon Newsletter