Diagnosed with a severe digestive disorder, Caleb has had 43 surgeries since he was 27 weeks old. Caleb and his family had become used to worrying about matters related to his condition—doctors’ visits, treatments, trips to the hospital. But then wish granters walked into their lives with a mission: to grant Caleb’s one true wish.
"I cried when I heard he was eligible for a wish. It was amazing," said Caleb’s mom, Kerri. "Our wish granters went above and beyond our expectations. They listened to everything Caleb said. We didn’t expect them to pick up on all the things they did. They really listened."
Caleb absolutely loves superheroes and Star Wars and roller coasters, and so he wished to take a family trip to Disney World! His Wish Reveal party took place at Sea Life Park, where scuba divers met him with signs surrounded by sharks: “Your wish is coming true, Caleb!”
Caleb’s favorite part was when his grandma, with whom he shares a special bond, surprised him at the airport. “I’ve never seen him so happy,” said Kerri.
At Disney World, Caleb experienced the thrill of Disney roller coasters with his family and met many of his favorite characters, including Chewbacca, Kylo Ren and the Avengers. And for Caleb and his family, these special moments held a different kind of magic.
When it was time to play in the pool at GKTW [Give Kids the World Village], Caleb decided not to wear a shirt into the water to cover his feeding tube like he usually does, saying, “Mom, everybody here is sick. I don’t need to wear a shirt.” Through his wish experience, Caleb was able to feel like a regular kid. And he was able to feel something else, too—hope.
When they were at GKTW, they made a brick that said, 'Caleb, our superhero, never gives up.'
"That brick is right outside the ice cream shop today," said Kerri. "And maybe when he’s older he can bring his kids there to show them."
"Maybe by then they’ll find a cure for all the sick kids," hoped Caleb.
That powerful feeling of hope followed Caleb home, and it has remained with him and his family ever since. "He’s been a different kid since we’ve been home. He’s been sick the last three weeks, so he’s only been at home and at the hospital, but he always wants to talk about it with his doctors and nurses," said Kerri. "I’m telling everybody I know to donate to Make-A-Wish."
By: Christianne Michel