Hearing ‘you are getting a wish’ can elicit many reactions. For 15-year old Ben it felt like winning the lottery. For us, it was an incredibly rewarding experience.
We had the pleasure of meeting Ben and his mother Jane at Steel & Oak Brewing Co. We shared stories about life, about their trip to Fiji, got to know each other, and showed them the inner workings of a production brewery. Although he’s too young to drink, Ben is really into science and thought it was a great experience. He had lots of questions, and many that I couldn’t answer, so head brewer Eric had to take over the tour. At the end of it, we traded beer swag for farm fresh eggs, made a true connections, and felt that we made a positive impact on a great family.
Born with a complex heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, Ben hasn’t had an easy life. Heart surgeries have punctuated his childhood – the first occurred when he was a baby and the most recent was just over a year ago. Ben’s condition has affected his whole family. His mom Jane remembers the precarious times when “the strain [of being] focused on one child’s existence was painful…my other children were small and I felt such guilt when I couldn’t be physically and emotionally with them.” Ben is the youngest of four, with three older sisters; unsurprisingly he is a considerate and outgoing kid.
Granting the Wish:
To celebrate Ben’s stable health and honour this journey the whole family has been through, Ben chose to visit Fiji with his family this spring. The wish was a week in paradise – Ben surfed, made local friends, swam in the crystal blue waters and spent much-needed time with his family. The trip became a reality thanks to our donation (which feels great!).
Ben’s wish and the 1,000 others granted by Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada every year are funded solely by the generosity of our community. I met Hannah (Development Coordinator for Children’s Wish) randomly at a wedding in French castle last fall, we discussed Children’s Wish and what they do, and after a few drinks I said ‘count me in!’. I’m certain she didn’t think she would hear back from me, but that was not the case. I was very inspired by the work she does, and when given the opportunity to contribute we gladly stepped up.
This was an incredible experience and something that I’ll never forget. When you hear the story that Ben and his family have been through, there is no better feeling than rewarding them with an amazing trip to Fiji. We hope this is just the first of many wishes we grant because it sure feels good.
(Ben asking hard questions, James making up answers)
“There is profound joy and magic that comes from granting a wish for a child with a life-threatening illness. For our wish kids, their families and donors, wishes really do work wonders.” – Hannah
Left to Right: Jennifer (Children’s Wish), Jane (Ben’s Mom), Ben, James, Hannah (Children’s Wish)
Thank you Hannah, Jennifer and Children’s Wish for making this happen!
Ben, we look forward to having a beer with you in 2021 😉
– James, Denny, Rosa & Jakub (The G+D Team)