We are so very excited to be able to soon introduce you to some of our friends from Make-A-Wish as we’re going to let them tell their stories how the simple act of granting a wish to a children with critical illnesses can give them hope … something to actually look forward to … and for their families… their parents … give them joyful, everlasting memories of their beautiful children.
Without that Wish, the families would have only memories of hospital visits, chemotherapy and surgeries.
Join us for the Stories of Light benefiting Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida starting Wednesday, November 13th on News 96.5 WDBO.
Right now, there are some 700 children here in Central Florida suffering from critical illnesses.
That’s 700 families enduring the greatest hardship that all parents fear.
Their lives revolve around hospital visits, chemotherapy, needle sticks, surgeries.
It’s not fun.
But with your help, we can reshape their everlasting memories of their children into those of joy and fun as we grant them their wishes from Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida.
Join us for the Stories of Light to benefit Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida November 13th, 14 and 15th live from Top Golf on Universal Boulevard behind the Orange County Convention Center.
During a long nighttime stakeout kneeling in some desert weeds in the spring of 1980, U.S. Customs Agent Tommy Austin tells Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Ron Cox his problem.
His wife’s friend Linda has a small son named Chris Greicius who is probably going to die of leukemia. The seven-year-old boy yearns to be a police officer “to catch bad guys” with Austin. Running into bureaucratic hesitation at Customs, Austin asks Cox if maybe DPS can do something. “I’ll rent a helicopter myself if I have to,” Austin says.
Cox takes the request to DPS spokesman Allan Schmidt, who asks DPS Director Ralph Milstead. He gives Schmidt carte blanche to grant Chris’ wish. Soon Austin receives a call from Chris’ mom saying that she doesn’t think he can hang on much longer.
“None of us had any idea what we were getting into at the time,” Schmidt will recall 30 years later. He draws other people in: Officer Jim Eaves will bring his patrol car, and Officer Frank Shankwitz his motorcycle, to meet the DPS helicopter flying Chris to headquarters. On April 29, Chris comes from Scottsdale Memorial Hospital to the empty lot by DPS at Lewis and 19th Avenue. There he and his parents are given a tour. That’s when Lt. Col. Dick Schaefer gives the boy a “Smokey Bear” hat and one of his own old badges, and Chris becomes Arizona’s first and only honorary DPS officer.
Everyone who meets the beaming boy chewing bubble gum wants to help. At the end of the day, some of those involved meet in a spontaneous group hug and realize they don’t want the day to be the end of it. They also know they don’t have much time.