At only two hours old, Sampson was diagnosed with a heart condition. At six hours old he was rushed to another hospital and the rest is a blur. However, even though Sampson has been dealing with the difficulties of his condition since the day he was born, he has always accepted the challenges in life and made the most of it all.
Sampson is now an energetic 11-year-old boy who likes to attend baseball games, go fishing and hiking, but most of all, is a huge fan of Monster Trucks. “Since Sampson was about five years old he has always said that he wished he could go to Monster Jam,” says Sampson’s mom, Karen.
So when wish granting volunteers, Deidre Hillman and Alexis Larson, met with Sampson to discover his wish he knew exactly what he wanted to do. For his wish, he wanted to go on a family road trip to attend the Monster Truck Finals in Las Vegas.
The road trip from North Dakota to Nevada was one filled with excitement and memories Sampson will not soon forget. He got to experience travelling across the country, making fun stops and staying at Airbnbs along the way. “I don’t think any words could describe this experience, this trip was like no other. Every detail was taken care of all through the trip. The way the hosts at the Airbnb went above and beyond to make sure every wish/conflict could be met for Sampson,” says Karen. One of the highlights of the road trip itself was driving on parts of historic Route 66. Once there, Sampson and his family got to meet race car driver Dennis Anderson on the year he retired and attend the 35th Anniversary of Grave Digger Celebration. Another part the family enjoyed was getting the opportunity to meet other wish families from around the country.
Sampson and his family had VIP access to all things Monster Jam. Private meet-and-greets, access to celebrations and of course tickets to watch all the monster truck action up close. “The Make-A-Wish staff also saw to every detail. I think that is what made it so amazing - we were just there to enjoy the trip and that’s exactly what we did,” explains Sampson’s mom. This trip wasn’t just a transformational experience for Sampson, but also for his parents who got to be with him and enjoy it with him through every mile.
Wishes like Sampson’s are made possible through support from many different people and organizations. And there is more than one way people can get involved, including starting a Wishmakers at Work program. Workplace giving is an opportunity to engage entire companies to come together and make a difference in their communities. Learn more about the different ways your organizations can give back here.