Make-A-Wish Radiothon 2013

16 Apr

Howdy do y’all! So this blog will be a little different than my others and it means a lot to me to tell the story. You might want to grab a box of tissues and most likely I myself will shed a few tears typing it to tell it to you.

As most of y’all know, I talk about red dirt/Texas music on KTCS 99.9 and I think I’ve mentioned it to y’all before in a previous blog, music and radio are very big dreams of mine. I think its the coolest thing to be on the radio talking about music, even if it is for 2-3 minutes everyday. It’s a privilege to do it in my book, but that’s just me. When I was asked to come in studio and help out with the Make-A-Wish Radiothon I jumped at the opportunity, I love the foundation and what good it does.

I went in at 6:00 a.m. and sat in with DC, and one of the Make-A-Wish coordinators. Then in walks this little boy 8 year old boy named Christian and his dad. Christian has a life threatening illness and while I didn’t ask what it was, it didn’t matter. This little boy is just adorable! Last year he got his wish granted and so him and his entire family went to Disneyland, he was a little shy talking on the radio but who wouldn’t be?! (I kinda was cause I was not used to in studio talking) then his dad started talking about Christian and I lost it. Yep, me crying on the radio… I didn’t break down and bawl but I did tear up. As soon as I heard his voice crack the lump entered my throat and I almost lost it. Of course I was aware of the Make-A-Wish foundation and the good they do for children with life threatening illnesses, I donate every year. I knew that going in studio I’d see firsthand the kids and hear the stories BUT nothing could prepare me for the reality of the situation. Being a parent, you pray that your kids are healthy and the worst thing you have to see them go through are their shots, but all the kids on the Make-A-Wish list go through more than we could ever imagine. They don’t know how to be a kid, they get poked and prodded with needles, spend most of their time in a hospital undergoing rounds and rounds of chemo and radiation. It’s awful.

Just in Arkansas alone was 150 kids on the list waiting to get their wishes granted. 25 in the Arklahoma area, it costs nearly $5,000 to grant just one wish and it varies what the kids want. Some want to take trips, some want to go shopping. Whatever the case, the kids deserve their wish. And their parents deserve the peace of mind of knowing that their child will get to enjoy being a kid for the day and make a ton of memories while doing it. Which leads me to the next story… Elisha (pronounced Elijah) wanted to go to Hawaii but his Dr. wouldn’t clear him to fly (I asked why and some medications the kids take doesn’t mix well with the altitude change and can make them terribly sick) so the next thing on his list was to be in a TV commercial. It was planned for him to come in studio and Channel 5 News was going to record him finding out he was getting his wish granted. Unfortunately, he was sick the night before and couldn’t make it in, I was broken hearted! Then I found out he was from the town I live in, so it’s still my main mission to meet him. I want to hug his neck and tell him I admire him for being brave and such an inspiration to all of us. After all we could learn a lot from kids like Christian and Elisha.

Before I left at 11:30 that day, I sat in with jockey, Brad Kelley and met Landon and his dad. Landon was 17 when he found out he had cancer. He’s now 18 and just recently finished up chemo and radiation, of course he still has to go back for check-up’s and all that but all that shows from his cancer is a small scar on his wrist and the peach fuzz growing back on his head. His wish was also granted last year, it was to meet the founder of the wrestling federation. He got to fly out to Los Angeles and do everything that is related to wrestling. It was a pleasure meeting Landon and his dad and they will forever be in my heart and prayers.

I left to go home and take some time to gear up to go back at 5:50 to bring in the last 10 minutes of the Radiothon. While at home, I had my radio set to listen to the rest of the stories and updates on the donations coming in. One song in particular that always tugs at my heartstrings is ‘Ronin’ by Taylor Swift… if you haven’t heard it, please go to YouTube and look it up. Have a box of tissues handy cause you’re going to need it. The line “I love you to the moon and back” gets me every time. Me and my own son share that saying and for the entire song I feel like it’d be me singing it if it was my son that was sick.

When I went back at 5:50 they were playing it and that little lump that was in my throat from earlier came back, as I walked in the station the mood was sad. The one time I had my CD player going instead of listening to the radio I missed the saddest story of the day. A mother of a Make-A-Wish kid had just called in and was urging people to donate. Her son had his wish granted a few years back there in the KTCS station, unfortunately he lost his battle to cancer a couple of months ago. It’s never easy seeing someone go, it’s like no matter what age they should never pass, they should live forever. So when it’s a child, it’s harder. They have so much life left to live and they’ve spent most of their life fighting for that next breath like its their last. That’s why the foundation is so important, they can enjoy a day or two not worrying about doctors, needles, being sick and not being able to enjoy childhood.

As the six o’clock hour approached the phone calls were still rolling in. They announced the grand total a little after six… $57,317.88 was raised in a months time from people calling in donating, going to the remotes the station would have at various locations. Y’all’s money helped grant a little over 11 wishes! Feel proud of yourself cause I did. Its an overwhelming feeling to know you made a difference in a childs life. I smile thinking about the kids finding out they get their wish and then get emotional thinking of the parent’s faces and how they’re feeling knowing their child gets their wish and they get to make family memories that last a lifetime.

If you donated, give yourself a pat on the back, if you didn’t don’t feel bad. There’s always next year or you can go to their website and set up a account where a certain amount comes out of your checking account each month. Until next time y’all(:

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One Response to “Make-A-Wish Radiothon 2013”

  1. Rachelle Sparks June 20, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    Thank you so much for writing this blog post. Every emotion you felt while talking to these kids is the feeling I had when writing the stories of wish children for my book. I was once a newspaper reporter and I did a lot of local “wish” stories, but there was never enough space in the newspaper to truly capture the heart and soul of these families’ stories – the heart-sinking feeling of hearing your child is ill, the strength they have to get through it all, the bravery of the children and the power of their wish. I hope many people see this blog post and understand just how special these kids are. I have two kids of my own, and what these families go through is unthinkable, but their triumphs are inspirational and life-changing…thank you for sharing.

    Sincerely,

    Rachelle

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