Preston’s favorite part of visiting Disney World was Give Kids the World Village, paid for by Make-A-Wish.
Fifteen-year-old Preston knows the impact Make-A-Wish Colorado can have on the life of a child battling a life-threatening medical condition. Shortly before his sixth birthday, Preston was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“My world came crashing down,” Preston admits. “However, within a week of my diagnosis, Make-A-Wish Colorado called and hope entered our lives.”
Grateful and eager for other children to experience the “huge blessing” Make-A-Wish provided to him and his family, Preston will be among the hundreds of people participating in the 2017 Walk for Wishes & 5K Run on Saturday, Oct. 21. He will also be sharing his story at the event, which takes place at Hudson Gardens Event Center in Littleton. The fundraiser, presented by Blue Bunny Ice Cream, will benefit Make-A-Wish Colorado (colorado.wish.org), which hopes to raise $75,000 for granting more wishes.
“My wish trip to Walt Disney World Resort only lasted a week, but to me and my family it was so much more than a trip,” Preston said. “The wish I received was something to look forward to when we had little to hope for. It really was a visible light at the end of the tunnel. On the trip, I was able to forget everything I had gone through, and have fun like six-year-olds are supposed to.”
Although Preston loved every part of Disney World, he said, “My favorite part was this very special place called Give Kids the World Village, a place for kids like me who are going through treatment, to stay while on their wish trip. The people working there make sure that the village is everything a kid could dream of, and I completely forgot I was going through cancer.”
Several years after Preston’s wish to go to Disney World was granted, he and his family returned to Give Kids the World as volunteers.
“It was probably the best experience ever and showed me how my wish helped shape and change my family,” Preston said. “Today, I am helping other kids going through treatment and working with many organizations to try to help out in any way I can. I am so grateful for what Make-A-Wish Colorado did for me and my family that I want to give back in hopes that other children can have fun and forget about their medical condition.”
Families, friends and coworkers are encouraged to form fundraising teams for the Walk for Wishes & 5K Run. All registered participants will receive a Walk for Wishes t-shirt and free bunny ears or yo-yos from Blue Bunny. Online registration ($35 for adult runners/walkers and $25 for youth runners/walkers) is open now at site.wish.org/WalkForWishes-Denver. On-site registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 21 at Hudson Gardens.
In addition to the Walk for Wishes 5K and one-mile Family Fun Run, there will be a Family Fun Zone. Mister Twister balloon creations, a mini Ninja course, face painting and temporary tattoos, karate demonstrations, corn hole and the Junior Bronco cheerleaders will be among the attractions and activities, along with bubbles, beach balls and hula hoops.
To learn more about Make-A-Wish Colorado, or the Walk for Wishes & 5K Run, call 303-750-9474(WISH) or visit colorado.wish.org.
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