When 15-year-old Tommy first learned he had Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he was fearful for his life. The possibility of death was ever present and more realistic than before.
“I will never forget that moment,” said Tommy’s mom, Beth. “It ranks up there as the worst thing a parent can ever hear. We left the office and I couldn’t even remember the doctor’s name when I got home.”
Shortly after his diagnosis, Tommy’s dad suffered a heart attack. The hope of living a normal and happy life seemed ever farther away. Tommy’s wish to go to Italy became a beacon of hope for his entire family. Tommy’s wish came true in 2013. He delighted in visiting Rome’s major landmarks such as the Coliseum and Vatican City.
“This trip gave everyone in my family a chance to escape the harsh reality of the life we had been living back home,” Tommy said. “We were able to regroup and remember that through everything, we are still a family, and we would always be there to love and support each other.”
Before his wish trip, life had lost some of its flavor for Tommy. Today, he looks forward to all the possibilities his future may bring. Tommy is now a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with plans to pursue a double major in either business, economics or political science. He is also an advocate of wishes and the impact of wishes, sharing his experience at several Make-A-Wish events, including the recent Walk For Wishes®.
“Thank you so much for believing in me and giving me a renewed sense of hope and happiness in myself, my future and my life,” Tommy said.