When Devin was four years old, she started having knee pain at night. Her doctors initially thought it was growing pains and eventually her doctors found an egg-size lump on her femur. Days after the lump was discovered, she was diagnosed with cancer. Devin’s cancer diagnosis took away a piece or her childhood. She wasn’t able to enjoy simple pleasures, like playgrounds and time with other kids, because of the potential exposure to germs. “As an adult, my diagnosis has made me grateful for each and every day” Devin said.
When Devin received her cancer diagnosis, it wasn’t just a diagnosis for her, but her entire family. The lives of her parents and siblings were drastically impacted too. “During our wish, we were able to enjoy a normal family activity, a time to relax, enjoy each other’s company, and truly enjoy a breath of fresh air without hospitals, IVs, or bills.”
Over 20 years later, Devin still vividly remembers the joy and excitement she felt as a wish kid. Her wish to go to Walt Disney World® Resort gave her a chance to meet all of her favorite characters. “When I reflect on my wish now, I know that it was more than granting a single child’s wish: it was about giving a family the opportunity to rest and relax together. It was perfect. The volunteers and staff took care of everything, every detail. It felt so comforting to have everything handled so ALL of us could just soak in the experience and create ever-lasting memories.”
Since her wish, Devin has graduated high school and college. She’s gone on to travel extensively, enjoys kayaking with her dog, Toffee, and spending time with friends and family. The impact of Devin’s wish continues to carry over into her adult life. Devin currently works in non-profit fundraising. Because of her experience, she and her family actively give back through volunteering and donating to non-profits that support children and fight cancer. This year, Devin and her mom had their own Walk for Wishes® team and raised over $1,000 to help grant wishes for Minnesota kids!
“A wish is truly a rejuvenating experience for not only wish kids, but their entire family. Giving them the strength and support needed to win their fight against cancer.”