WILLISTON, N.D.-- Williston native, Ashton, suffers from end-stage kidney disease. This means he’s on dialysis while he waits for a transplant and is more use to being in a hospital than any child his age should be. However, his limitations don’t stop him from playing with his friends, building with LEGO® blocks and cheering for his favorite football team, the Minnesota Vikings. That’s why when Make-A-Wish® North Dakota wish granting volunteers, Abbey and Heidi, asked Ashton what his one wish would be he said to meet the Vikings.
12-year-old Ashton doesn’t know it yet, but his birthday is going to be extra special this year. His thirteenth birthday is this Sunday, September 16th, and he plans to spend it with friends and family at Strike Zone Bowling Alley. What he doesn’t know is that his wish granters will be there to reveal to him that his wish is coming true next week. Everyone will then celebrate this exciting news with bowling and goodies from 1-3 p.m.
Then on Friday, September 21st, Ashton and his family will start their journey to Minneapolis for a weekend they are not likely to soon forget. Ashton will get to meet his favorite players on Saturday and then experience a home game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. He and his family are also hoping to find time to swing by LEGOLand in the Mall of America.
This trip is only possible because Ashton’s grandmother took the time to refer him for a wish. A common misconception is that Make-A-Wish only serves terminal children and that is not the case. While that may have been true immediately after the organization’s founding in 1980, the eligibility criteria expanded to allow doctors to use the wish as an important part of the medical treatment and healing process. Many children who have their wishes fulfilled have overcome or are on their way to overcoming their medical conditions. Children can be referred by medical professionals, parents/guardians, the child him/herself or a close family member. To learn more about the referral process visit http://northdakota.wish.org/refer-a-child.
Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Since its inception in 1985, Make-A-Wish North Dakota has granted over 880 wishes to children across the state.