On December 14thAnna Rogers of Madison will experience a dream come true thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Anna's Make-a-Wish is to go "behind the scenes" at the Columbus Zoo and to meet Jack Hanna, who is the Professor Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo. Anna chose this wish because she loves all kinds of animals and wants to work with them one day. She saw Jack Hanna handle exotic animals a few years ago at a show at UConn and was really impressed by him.
Anna, who is nearly13 years old, and swims on the Madison Racquet & Swim Club swim team, qualified for a Make-a-Wish because she has Cystic Fibrosis, a fatal genetic disease that affects her lungs and digestive system. The average life-expectancy for CF patients in the US is 38 years. Anna has been hospitalized over 20 times to be treated with IV antibiotics to fight lung infections. She has also undergone many procedures such as sinoscopies and bronchoscopies to decrease her infection load. Three years ago she went into acute kidney failure as a reaction to all the medicines. Daily, she spends about 2 hours doing physical therapy and breathing treatments to help keep her lungs healthy.
In the spirit of “paying it forward,” Anna is collecting Holiday Wish Letters in an effort to make adifference for other kids with life threatening diseases who will be granted a future wish. As part of the National Believe Campaign, Macy's will donate $1 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation for every Holiday Wish letter it receives. Madison Racquet & Swim Club has teamed with Anna to spread the word and to help her collect letters. A sample form letter can be downloaded from the Madison Racquet & Swim Club website or picked up at the club. A collection box located in the Madison Racquet & Swim Club lobby will serve as a drop point and Anna will collect up the letters by December 11th. Anna will take the letters with her to New York on December 14th to be counted. It only takes a minute to complete the letter and kids can wish for anything they want -- a toy, world peace, a cure for cancer, etc. The letters can be folded over and taped or stapled. Macy's doesn't read the letters, but volunteers count how many are received. This is a great way for kids to make a difference this holiday season and it's free!
If you have any questions about the National Believe Campaign, you may contact Kim Smith of the Make-a-Wish Foundation at203-521-0282.