I have always been the type of person to believe in the power of kindness. Even small acts have the potential to change a person’s entire mood or perspective on the world. Although a Wish is way more extravagant than a small act of kindness, the impact it creates is unique and everlasting. A wish is the reason so many people and their families have hope again. It is the reason thousands of individuals see the world in a whole new way. It is the reason these children find the strength and joy in life to never stop believing. It is the reason I have decided to do whatever I can to give back to the organization that changed my life for the better.
When I was 1 year old, I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening medical condition that affects one’s ability to breathe along with disruptingthe other organs of the body. Even though this disease included lifelong treatments and an abnormal number of doctors’ visits, I never saw myself as different. Through my parent’s encouragement and love, I was able to live a life that seemed normal from anyone on the outside looking in. However, this was also the reason that I was initially very skeptical about receiving a wish. I considered myself to be “not worthy” of a wish because there were so many other children that deserved it more than I. In the beginning of my wish process, it was reinforced over and over again that my wish wasn’t taking a wish away from any other child. Eventually, I accepted this to be true and my journey began. After meeting my wish team, I was overwhelmed with the passion and support I was given. Little did I know this was only the beginning.
I received my wish a month after my 18th birthday. Although it is hard to put into words, I know the impact of my wish will affect me for the rest of my life. Not only did it bring the joy and strength that it promised, but it allowed my family and I a renewed perspective on life and its meaning. It showed me that those who set their minds to something are unstoppable and that dreams really do come true. Through Make-A-Wish, I was able to find the peace I was searching for through the kindness of others and for that I will be forever grateful. It is because of this I realized I had to do whatever I could to give back to the organization that had given me so much more than just a “vacation”.
During my freshman year of college, I applied to be an intern at the North Dakota chapter of Make-A-Wish. I knew that this was the beginning of my journey of giving back to the community and I was beyond excited. Not only did I learn valuable skills during my internship that I will put to use the rest of my life, but I also received a personal look into the makings of wishes and how everything comes together. I learned to work well with others while tackling problems, obtained the knowledge of computer skills that I thought were far above me, while becoming more organized in the process. This internship also gave me the purpose and inspiration I needed to continue following my dreams and to not give up even when things seem impossible. Through the interaction with the staff, I was able to gain helpful insight on the business world and how important it is to be doing something that you are truly passionate about. I have put the skills I learned over my 3-month internship to use every day, whether it be communicating with others or in my college courses. This was an experience I will be forever grateful for and is one of the many reasons that I will never stop giving back to the Make-A-Wish organization.