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rock the student voice of rock canyon high school

2013 Wish Kid Mara steps out to meet Rock Canyon.“Our goal will always be one wish, and one wish is $7,500.00, after that it’s just icing on the cake. We’re not about breaking records, we’re about granting wishes.” --StuCo Sponsor Kate Hartline photo by: [juliahenning]

How Are We Going to Make Mara’s Wish Come True?

One School. One Week. One Wish. See what students have done to help make this wish

Meet Mara (page 02-03)

come true. (page 04)

5810 McArthur Ranch Road . Highlands Ranch, CO 80124 . 303-387-3000 . Volume 9 . Issue 5 . Mar. 1, 2013 The Rock Student Newspaper @therocknews13 Online:



02 [03/01/13]

“I Believe in Mara’s Wish” photo [cececastro] photo by:by: [juliahenning]

Mara sits in the arms of StuCo Vice President Adrienne Gullia ‘13, during the opening Wish Week assembly Feb. 22,.“I’m excited to see the school come together, meet Mara and just have another great Wish Week, and to have a cause that we come together for as a group,” StuCo adviser Kate Hartline said. With her tiara in full view for the entire student body to see, it immediately became clear that Mara was the star of the show.

It’s been said that all you need to make a wish come true is faith, trust, and a dash of pixie dust. Just as well, it’s been said that if you believe in something hard enough, that anything is possible. For ten-year-old Mara, both of these hold true; if you keep smiling and seek out the silver lining, you can change the statistics, and see your dreams come true.


e all know that life is anything but a fairy tale. Granted, it may have a Disney moment or two, but sometimes those seem few and far between. Mara’s story goes well beyond a diagnosis. She truly is the knight in shining armor, the princess with a happily ever after, the character who wins it all. She is the spunky little girl with the radiant smile and the glittering silver tiara. She is our Wish kid, and we believe. “[Mara] has a condition called S.C.I.D.S. (Severe Combined Immunodeficientcy) If you’ve ever read about how in the 1980s there was a boy that lived in a bubble; Mara has the same condition,” Dawn Dawkins, the mother of Make-a-Wish kid Mara, said. “Her body

developed without the ability to fight off infections, but nobody knew. She was actually very healthy for the first five years [of her life], and then she started to get sick. She also has a form of dwarfism: she has Cartilage Hair Hypoplasia which is another really really rare one, but many of those kids have S.C.I.D.S.” However, neither her parents, nor her doctors knew if she would live past birth due to a variety of complications, but, from the very beginning, Mara made it very clear that she had no plans of surrendering quietly. “Her name has meaning: Dawn Dawkins Tamara means love, and Angelina means angel; so she’s love’s angel. We had a funeral all planned and everything--because it was so close to Christmas--and she actually came a month early,” Mara’s father said. “And then I

She was very healthy for the first five years [of her life], and then she started to get sick.

came walking out of the delivery room with the baby, and my parents were sitting there and said, ‘did he just walk by with the baby?’ They were all expecting the worst.” Ever since she was born, Mara has faced a series of medical obstacles-many of which were characterized by a variety of unknowns. “For the first five years she was undiagnosed with what kind of dwarfism she had. She had ‘some kind’ and that was the 1% chance before she was born; they thought that it was in her chest--and that her chest wouldn’t develop to be big enough for her heart or her lungs, and she would have suffocated herself.” However, it wasn’t until Mara was about five years old that her parents realized that there were

concerns much greater than her dwarfism alone. “When she was five, they found out that she had Hirschsprung’s disease, which is a bowel disease in which a section of her bowels had developed with no nerve endings,” Dawn said. “Most kids-again, this is where Mara beats the odds--have ruptured their bowels before they’ve reached age one, and she was five before they ever caught it.” Initially, her health issues also impacted her development as a toddler; for several years, even after rounds of physical therapy Rob Dawkins and treatment, it seemed as though Mara would never have the ability to walk, or talk...But then, she defied the odds again. “She didn’t walk until she was four. But she was very determined one day and she just got up and

Her name has meaning: Tamara means love, and Angelina means angel; so she’s love’s angel.


wish [03/01/13]


Meet Mara From the spunky hair to the pink bow, who really is Mara?

Her Favorite TV Show... Disney Channel’s Good Luck Charlie.

Her Favorite Color... Pink.

Who She Looks Up to... photo by: [juliahenning]

Taylor Swift.

Mara makes her wish to go on a Disney Cruise with her family at the Colorado Make-A-Wish office Feb. 13, “They told us that she would never walk,” Mara’s mother Dawn Dawkins. “So, at four years old she was driving a wheelchair in preschool, but that summer she decided that she was done and got up and walked across the room, she’s always done things like that, it’s just her lot in life.” Her wish was second only to wishing for the chance to meet her favorite pop star, Taylor Swift. walked across the floor,” Dawn said. “It was the same thing with talking, it just came out one day in full sentences; we could see in her eyes that she understood; we were even doing sign language with her because she would communicate that way with us, but she couldn’t verbalize it. However, her story took a drastic turn just over a year ago, when her doctors informed her that the fight was far from over. “She’s definitely had some interesting challenges, but in 2010 her stomach issues just got so bad that her lungs and her stomach were so damaged from just being sick all of the time. Then her doctor just said that we had to move on with a bone marrow transplant....You think that it’s quick, and it’s not. Once we made that decision, it took almost nine months to get her in, and then she got sick again and couldn’t have the transplant. So she had the transplant on her birthday.” Following the transplant--which was the procedure that qualified Mara as a candidate for the Make-A-Wish Foundation--she spent the next year in the BMT (Bone Marrow Transplant) unit at National Jewish Hospital in Denver. For most people, the thought of having to spend any longer than a week in a hospital room may seem daunting, but Mara made short work of turning a seemingly bleak environment into her own personal playground. Between turning her hospital bed into a slide and going out of her way to make sure that everyone else around her was cared for, Mara quickly rose to the top of the ranks as the “perfect patient.” “When you’re in the BMT unit, you’re not allowed to talk to one other. They’re isolated, but somehow they all knew about Mara,” Dawn said. “There was an eighteen-year-old boy from New Mexico [in the wing] who had heard about Mara

[and] she would send him messages about how to take his medications because he was having trouble taking them. We finally got to meet him, and he just said ‘Mara you just inspire me, everyday; if [you] can get up and do this, I can do this.’” In addition to working to make sure that everyone felt at home in the hospital, whether it be recommending her own customized drinks to other patients to get rid of the aftertaste of strong medicine, or going from door to door and inviting everyone to come down to eat dinner together, Mara also did everything in her power to stay busy and to make life fun. even if it wasn’t made out to seem Dawn Dawkins that way. “[The nurses] got butcher paper and put it on the walls, and Dawn would draw little things, and Mara would draw and paint all of these pictures,” Mara’s father said. “And that’s how we got her out of bed.” After getting involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation upon the recommendation of her doctors about two years ago, Mara spent a good deal of time plotting about how to spend her wish and how to make sure that, whatever she chose to do, that it turned the page and made for one of the best chapters in her story to date. “She wanted to meet Taylor Swift, and MakeA-Wish just said that we may not get to meet her--it’d be on her time--and Mara just said ‘let’s do Disney, I want to go on the boat.’” Since making her decision, the tickets have been purchased, and the arrangements have been made to ensure that Mara and her family are set to have the trip of a lifetime. “We’re on the Disney Dream, we arrive in

She didn’t walk until she was four. But she was very determined one day, and got up and walked across the floor.

Orlando on June 1 and we leave on June 2. There are two stops: Disney’s private island and then Nassau to port, and they’re going to let her pick three wonderful activities; she gets to choose what she wants to do...Believe me, every girl has checked out which room they get, and they’re all very excited.” So now, as a school, we have a challenge to face. In one week, we have to find a way to raise the money to send Mara on her wish, to show her not only how much Rock Canyon cares, but also how much Rock Canyon believes in the importance of living out your dreams...Especially if the road to get there was anything but easy. “There’s a reason for all of this, there’s a reason that we’re going down this path,” Dawn said. “Some days, it’s the serenity prayer five times per day, but that’s just it: sometimes you only get through the next five minutes, because that’s all you can do.” Over the course of the last three years, we’ve donned extremely short shorts and played our hearts out in dodgeball. We’ve eaten our weight in Buffalo Wild Wings, and stalled our classes for as long as possible with pocket change. But, in the Mara Dawkins end, it’s the students that quietly empty mason jars full of change into the Miracle Minute buckets that will make an impact. It’s the students who believe in the power of unity that will make a change. It’s the school that believes in the power of Wish Week that will help Mara turn her story into a fairy tale. “You just take every little thing and do the best you can with it,” Dawn said. “We just let her lead, and we’re just along for the ride.”

I know God has a plan for me, some days I don’t like his plan, but I always know that he’s got a plan.

*Keep up with Mara by “liking” her page, H.O.P.E. for Mara, on Facebook. [sydcharvat]

When She Grows Up... She wants to be a nurse.

Her Favorite Doll...

Mara has a “Just Like You” and Josephina American Girl Doll.

Her favorite Pet...

Mara and her family have several horses, however, her horse, Stormy, is a miniature horse, and is Mara’s favorite.

What She Likes to do...

She loves to color, and play with Barbie dolls. [therockstaff] photos courtesy of googleimages



04 [03/01/13]

Believe the Magic: Wish Week 2013 From restaurant nights and head shaving, to dodgeball and the Miracle Minute, the Rock takes a quick look back at Wish Week 2013, and goes behind the scenes, showing how we came together to make a wish come true 1. All decked out, the hallways were never so blue, StuCo coated the school in baby blue from nine banners in the upper hallway to the strands of over 1,000 balloons draped from the ceiling of the senior hall. 2. The change in their pockets added up to 87 minutes of no class. Math teacher Tony Koy counted change for more than the entire second hour AP Calc class. He was only a fourth of the way through when class ended. “You young whippersnappers never cease to amaze me during Wish Week,” Koy said. By the end of the period Koy had only counted a fourth of the $560.00 total.



photo by [quincyschurr]


photo by [bribradley]

photo by [juliahenning]


photo by [nicolecassou]

3. Ready for Hat Day Feb. 27, math teacher Joan Cloud and registrar Polly Poindexter don their Disney ears in the Counseling Office. 4. Students rush the gym floor during the Miracle Minute at the opening assembly on Feb. 25. “While I was taking pictures for yearbook a few stray coins hit me, but I put myself in the line of fire for Mara. I want her to look back at our yearbook and photos and see that we did all of this for her,” Davis Livingstone ’13 said. Last year’s $4,300.00 record was shattered as $8,426.64 was raised off of spare change and dollar bills--enough to grant Mara’s wish in a single minute. 5. Chance Champine ‘13 bowls for a strike at Cosmic Bowling Feb. 22. 6. Man Poms performed to “Hey Big Spender” at Dodgeball Feb, 25 with a revised version of the Poms routine to take a quick break before the Abusement Park v. The Teachers game. “None of us actually knew the dance,” Evan Hunchar’14 said. “We just went out there and tried to follow the Poms girls and not look foolish.” 7. Right before the opening assembly, Mara, her sister, Shayla, and her mother, Dawn, all joined StuCo for breakfast in the commons Feb 22.




photo by [dylanzbylski]


photo by [virginiavaughan]

photo by [maddiehulst]


photo by [alexissvenson]

photo by [virginiavaughan]

8. Laughing as her friend reaches for her newly shaved head, Tori Pavillard‘15 was more than happy to lose her locks for a good cause. “After I was done, it was weird to see myself,” Pavillard said.“I thought that I was going to be appalled by the way I looked, but I actually really liked it.”9. Stunned by what is no longer there, Bri Cooke‘15 shows off her new hair with a smile.

Wish Week Edition 2013  

The Wish Week Special Edition of the Rock Student Newspaper at Rock Canyon High School. Check out our coverage of our 2013 Wish Kid, as we c...

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