For eight years Cole International and Children’s Wish have enjoyed a special partnership – in the “spirit of giving” Cole International has generously supported Children’s Wish during the holidays in honour of its customers and in lieu of mailing cards. With wish requests arriving at the Children’s Wish office daily at an average wish cost of $10,000, the generosity of supporters like Cole International is essential to ensuring that no Canadian child facing a life-threatening illness is denied their most heartfelt wish.
From a trip to Disney to a new pet or playhouse, Children’s Wish fulfills more than 1,100 wishes annually. A wish is temporary relief and much-needed distraction from the endless procession of doctor’s visits, treatments, and hospital stays. A wish is about precious time with family – planning, enjoying or reflecting on the special magic of the moments. A wish is about memories, pictures, and videos the family will treasure for a lifetime, sometimes in the absence of the child.
Cole International’s significant support – which can grant one to two wishes a year, depending on the wish – goes a long way to enabling Children’s Wish to dream bigger than ever and make crucial differences in the lives of children in need of a wish – children like four year old Liam.
Liam is a talented painter with a love for Lego and cars. Of course, his favorite movies are Cars and Cars 2 and he wants to be a race car driver when he grows up!
In April 2012 this little artist was diagnosed with stage 4 medulloblastoma – a malignant brain tumor. He underwent a six hour surgery to remove the tumour, followed by six months of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation. It was a grueling, trying time for the family but after a difficult nine months, he was feeling great and responding positively to his treatments.
When he was referred to Children’s Wish and given his Wish Package, he received Roary, the ever brave mascot of Children’s Wish. Roary became one of Liam’s best friends and greatest supports. The stuffed toy never left his side during checkups and treatment. Now Liam struggles with fine motor skills, such as painting, and the only way he can be convinced to create any art is the idea that he is doing it for his friend Roary.
His love for Roary is matched by his love of cars, so naturally when the time came to choose his wish he wished to visit Radiator Springs in Disney Land and have the full Cars experience! “Ever since I saw the opening of Radiator Springs at Disneyland, I have been asking to go. I love to look at Radiator Springs on the website and think about going there,” exclaimed Liam, before his wish trip.
The anticipation of the wish gave Liam and his family motivation and hope while going through the taxing treatment and then, on the trip, they were able to simply enjoy being together as a family – and also celebrate their brave little boy. “We were able to finish off Liam’s nine months of treatment with a trip of a lifetime. It was a great way to celebrate!” shared Karla, Liam’s mom, with Children’s Wish after their wish trip.
“There has been an ongoing demand for wishes like Liam’s over the last few years,” states Children’s Wish CEO Chris Kotsopoulos. “With dedicated, caring, and generous partners like Cole International, Children’s Wish can meet the increased demand and continue our tradition of never having denied a wish to an eligible child. We are deeply grateful to Cole International and its employees for their continued commitment to Children’s Wish.”
For more information about The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, please visit www.childrenswish.ca.
Written by: Felicia Sciberras, Major and Planned Giving Officer – The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada