Make-A-Wish Brightens the Holidays

On Monday, December 19, during a private presentation, Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley honored the wish of 15-year-old Shannon of Rockland County, who elected to use her wish to give back to pediatric patients at Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center. Shannon gifted six iPads, six Nintendo Switches and nine $100 Netflix subscription gift cards to benefit fellow patients during their hospital stays.

“We are so moved by Shannon’s show of compassion and consideration in support of our patients,” said Burton E. Appel, M.D., associate director, Children’s Cancer Institute, Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health and Shannon’s physician. “Shannon could have wished for a special trip or a once in a lifetime experience, but she thought of other children that could benefit from the use of technology during their hospital stays. We thank her for her kindness, and Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley for granting her wish.”

In 2018, Shannon was diagnosed with a critical illness and although Shannon’s original wish was to attend Comic-Con San Diego, a convention dedicated to comic books, movies and comic culture – the spread of COVID-19 prevented that from happening. Shannon later faced some medical challenges which delayed her wish and made her reimagine the experience.

After speaking with her mother, Shannon decided to act and give back to patients at the Children’s Hospital. For Shannon, days spent in the clinic for treatment were difficult, but with the help of electronics and video games, she was able to keep herself busy. She was able to work with the Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley team and pick out certain streaming services and devices that she enjoys and believes that other children would enjoy as well.
“Our Wish Team grants all types of wishes throughout the year whether it’s to have a room redecoration, a gaming computer, to meet their favorite celebrity, go to their favorite theme park or reconnect with family,” said Kristine Burton, President & CEO of Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley. “However, wishes like Shannon’s demonstrate the powerful impact of a wish – kids helping other kids get through treatment is truly an inspiration to us all.”

When wish kid Shannon was asked about why she chose a “to give” wish she shared; “I want to give kids what helped me through treatments and to give back to the clinic that helped me!”

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