Jackson, 7, leukemia

 I wish to swim with dolphins

Jackson's Wish
Jackson was diagnosed with leukemia in early 2014. Although his diagnosis hit the family like an “unexpected hurricane,” his prognosis was good, and being contacted by their local Make-A-Wish® chapter was a bright spot.  Jackson wished to do something that involved animals and wildlife, especially aquatic wildlife. The anticipation of his wish gave him something to look forward to other than fighting cancer.  Soon, Jackson learned his wish to swim with dolphins would be granted. He was ecstatic!

The day of the trip arrived, and Jackson and his family were treated like celebrities as their luggage and all the details were handled. He had never flown in an aircraft, and that was a big new adventure right off the bat. Once at the marine park in Florida, Jackson snorkeled with giant rays, enjoyed the jungle river, and yes, even swam with dolphins! He was provided a guided experience at the park with first-class customer service. He still talks about the killer whales and dolphins!

This was a trip of a lifetime for Jackson and his family.  His parents shared that this experience was an important part of Jackson’s healing process. They said, “A disease like cancer changes a childhood and inhibits kids from experiencing a lot of the things normal kids get to experience, but wishes allow these special, brave and wonderful children to experience something most kids could only dream of…and that is very special!”

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