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Ethan: I wish to go to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

  • Ethan

  • Ethan

  • Ethan

“ My wish gave me the confidence to pursue my dream job. ”


- Ethan

Ethan’s medical struggles began when he was just a baby and his parents noticed his little hand trembling. Although Ethan had been walking for a couple of months, he began to fall down a lot for no apparent reason.Within six months, Ethan was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a medical condition that weakens his muscles and robbed him of the ability to walk or stand. As the years progressed, so did his medical needs – a spinal fusion surgery, a feeding tube surgery and a tracheostomy surgery. 

Ethan does not let his challenges prevent him from enjoying life. He enjoys sciences and technology, taking great pride in his academic accomplishments. He looks forward to working in the space shuttle industry.  

This love of space inspired his wish to go to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a national research facility that carries out robotic space and Earth science missions. This past summer, with his family by his side, he traveled to California to tour the Jet Propulsion Lab. Ethan met with industry leaders to discuss rovers, space crafts and robotics. He even saw the mission control center! 

“My favorite memory was the feeling I had when entering the mission control area,” Ethan said. “The trip allowed me to meet the professionals of the industry, and it gave me insight as to whether or not this was a career that I wanted to pursue.”  

According to Ethan’s parents, Stephanie and James, the best part of Ethan’s wish was that their family was able to experience it together. “Having a child with a neuromuscular disease affects all of the family. It has an emotional toll and a financial toll. This experience allowed us – just for a short time – to forget those things and just enjoy being together,” Stephanie said. 

This fall, Ethan began his freshman year at the University of Minnesota. He plans to study Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics. “My wish has given me the confidence to pursue my dream job. None of this would have ever been possible without Make-A-Wish, so thank you!” Ethan said. 

Because of supporters like you, Ethan can now envision his future filled with hope, possibilities and confidence. You can make more wishes come true for more Minnesota kids by making a gift today. Donate now!

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