North Mecklenburg women support wishes
by Staff Writer
Tyler Allen bubbles with positive energy. He smiles and giggles as he climbs like a monkey over his dad, living room couch and sister, Danielle. But the 9-year-old struggles every day with muscular dystrophy, a condition that limits his mobility and from which he will never recover.
The Allen family, of Huntersville, got a break from its daily fight against muscular dystrophy in October 2011, when Make-A-Wish gave them a week at Give Kids the World Village near Disney World.
A new local group is working to make wishes possible for even more north Mecklenburg children with life-threatening illnesses.
The Lake Norman chapter of Women for Wishes, comprising 15 women from Davidson, Cornelius, Huntersville and Mooresville, is dedicated to supporting Charlotte-based Make-A-Wish Central and Western North Carolina.
The group will raise awareness of the organization and partner with local businesses to raise money, publicity chair Meredith Fite said.
Fite got involved after Make-A-Wish granted her son, Matt’s, wish nearly seven years ago while he was suffering from cancer. Matt is now on the water polo team at Arizona State University and three years away from his complete 10-year remission. Their wish trip was an escape from daily discussions of needles and the threat of dying or losing a limb.
“He never stopped smiling that whole trip. … He learned that life is made up of moments,” Fite said. “I felt it was my duty to get more women involved in helping these children and families.”
With six years between their sons’ wishes, Brenda Allen appreciates Make-A-Wish for the same reason.
“It gave us a week off. Just to see how happy he was,” Brenda Allen said. “The biggest smile every day of the week.”
Lorna Bishop started the Vermont Make-A-Wish chapter, served on the organization’s national board and got involved with the Charlotte-based chapter after moving to Cornelius. Her goal for Women for Wishes is to make more wishes possible.
“If we don’t have the money, we can’t grant the wishes,” Bishop said. “There are 338 kids on the pipeline with the Charlotte chapter.”
Women for Wishes is already working with Savvy Salon, 20430 W. Catawba Ave., in Cornelius to sponsor a wish. The salon’s fundraisers this year will raise the $6,000 it takes to make a wish come true.
The group is looking for businesses interested in adopting a wish or raising funds.
The most expensive part of wishes is usually flights, and people can donate unused airline miles before they expire at the Charlotte’ chapter’s website.
“There’s a connection between the mind and the body. If you can bring some happiness into the life of a child, and even the life of the family, maybe it can do something for the immune system, or at least bring some happiness into the life of a child that’s otherwise filled with shots and fear,” Bishop said.
Want to help?
To get involved, email Meredith Fife at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Lorna Bishop at 704-892-4753.
To learn more about Make-A-Wish of Central and Western North Carolina, visit www.ncwish.org.