A New Appreciation
I’ll be honest, when I first joined the Make-A-Wish® team I didn’t know a lot about the organization. I had a feeling that it was a good cause, but I wasn’t really passionate about it.
Since then, I’ve come to understand what is so special about wish granting. I truly appreciate the mission now, and have become a passionate supporter. I try to tell everyone I know and meet about it.
One wish in particular really sticks in my memory. It was a six-year-old who had a very rare condition – her growth had been so effected by it that she was about the size of a three-year old. Her illness made her such a delicate child but you’d never be able to tell because she was always so happy. Her wish was to go to the Bahamas. She loved swimming and wanted to swim in the warm water of a sandy beach instead of cold pool water.
Her wish reveal was memorable because she was so excited about everything that came out of that blue wish box – the candy, the toys, Dora, EVERYTHING. Even her brother was super enthusiastic and he only got an alarm clock! It was an Ottawa Senators alarm clock, but still, he didn’t seem to mind that all of the attention was on his sister.
This wish mom kept a blog of their experiences including their wish trip, so it gave me more insight into the family, I think. She mentioned in the blog that she had initially hesitated accepting the wish. Sometimes it’s difficult for parents to admit that their child is sick enough to qualify for a wish, and it can be hard to accept help when it’s offered.
Later the family told us that they were so thankful they accepted the wish, because they hadn’t realized how much they needed it.
I’m learning that when you have a really sick child you get so used to worrying about the logistics of their condition. Travel is much more complicated. For example, finding insurance for the whole family and making sure you can get everything you may need on the plane. Their "normal" is a totally different "normal."
During a wish, Make-A-Wish handles everything from beginning to end and it gives families the chance to be “normal” without having all of these extra worries.
Working at Make-A-Wish has impacted me personally. I appreciate things more now. I’ve seen the struggle these families go through and it really puts everything into perspective.
I think Make-A-Wish has made me a happier person. I’m learning what it truly means to share the power of a wish. I never thought I would be so proud to announce where I work. I feel very lucky to be a part of this organization and it’s become a passion for me.
Rose rapelling during Make-A-Wish's Rope for Hope event
Rose Sharpe-Schmid has worked at Make-A-Wish® Eastern Ontario for three years, was born and raised in Ottawa, is an avid fan of the Ottawa Senators, and loves Highland Dancing. If you ever run into her on the street and feel stuck for a subject to discuss, mention her dog Moki or Make-A-Wish and she won’t stop talking.