When Jackson was just two and a half years old, his family’s life came crashing down. His mom was pregnant with her third child and Jackson was diagnosed with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy.
“I didn't even know how I was able to cope, other than surviving on pure shock. There was a lot of fear, anger and hurt, followed by many tears,“ said Katherine, Jackson’s mom.
Over the years, Jackson and his family have adjusted to the frequent appointments, medications and daily physical therapy that have become their family’s new sense of ‘normal’. His parents face each day as it comes, but always continue to envision a full life for their son.
As his muscles deteriorate, Jackson has found he has a hard time running and being active with his friends. “I worry for the day that he may not be able to walk on his own anymore,” Katherine said.
However, Jackson does not let his challenges stop him from having an energetic and adventurous spirit, doing his best to succeed at everything he puts in mind to.
When Jackson found out he was eligible to receive a wish, he knew exactly what he would ask for since he loves riding on his uncle’s golf cart. He imagined having one of his own, riding around his family’s land with his pet kittens.
Then, Jackson’s wish day arrived. During a school pep rally, he received a wonderful surprise: his own golf cart. He walked into his school gym and was welcomed with cheers from the entire student body. They cheered and chanted his name. “It was amazing!” Jackson exclaimed. He is thrilled with his custom golf cart, covered with decals of cats, which is his favorite animal.
Jackson’s wish, which brought him joy that will stay with him for years to come, will also make getting around easier as walking becomes more and more difficult for him. Since his wish, he spends as much time as he can riding his golf cart. He can’t wait until he’s older when he can ride around the neighborhood to visit his friends.
“I will never forget what Make-A-Wish has done for our family,” Katherine said. “To have an organization that focuses on bringing joy to children is beyond wonderful, and I can only hope to pay this kindness forward someday.”