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Southlake Style

Make-A-Wish Grants the Wish of Walnut Grove Kindergartener

Mar 11, 2016 03:03PM ● By Audrey Sellers

Make-A-Wish Foundation, the nonprofit founded in 1980 to grant wishes to children around the world who are living with life-threatening illnesses, made a stop in Southlake today and even brought along a special guest: Mickey Mouse.

This morning, kindergarteners and first graders at Walnut Grove Elementary School (WGES) gathered in the cafeteria for the surprise unveiling of a trip to Disney World for kindergarten student Lucas Sun. Students cheered with delight as Mickey Mouse entered the room and Sun learned that his wish had been granted. He’ll enjoy his Spring Break at one of the most magical places on Earth.  

To qualify for a wish, a child must be between the ages of three and 17. The nonprofit grants wishes through its 61 U.S. chapters and also operates in 45 countries around the world.

“We’ve heard about the reveals and seen them on the news, but we’ve never experienced them here,” says WGES Principal Mike Landers. “It was really cool. It’s the day before Spring Break, so it was the perfect time.”

Moments like these are what Christy Livingstone, Medical Outreach Coordinator with Make-A-Wish, loves the most. “It’s about offering hope and joy at a time when things are difficult and challenging,” she says. “It’s a blessing to be in a position to do that.”

Livingstone, who has worked for the Foundation for a year, says children get to have one of four wishes: a wish to go, a wish to be, a wish to meet or a wish to have. 

“Lucas’ wish was a wish to go to Disney World,” she says. “This is our most popular wish.”

But, each wish is as unique as the child. “It’s always fun to see what the child’s wish is,” she says. Livingstone has had wish kids go to events such as Wrestlemania, and one has even traveled as far away as Switzerland.

Whatever the wish is, she’s just glad she can take part in days like today. “I enjoy all of it,” she says. “It’s rewarding to meet with the kids and families and see the surprise on their faces.”