This spring, Keith, my sister Ashley, and I are taking on the Make-A-Wish Alabama Trailblaze Challenge again! This year Keith will be hiking BOTH 26.3 miles in one day in the Talladega National Forest AND 28.3 miles on the Foothills Trail in the Carolinas in one day. Ashley and I will be joining him on the Foothills trails and my high school betie, Anisha, will be hiking with him here in Alabama. We are taking on the challenge because we believe in the power of wishes and the impact they can have on a child fighting a critical illness. We are so excited to partner with Make-A-Wish Alabama, a non-profit organization that grants a life-changing wish to children between the ages of 2.5 and 18 with critical illnesses.
I was diagnosed with leukemia at five years old, and the treatment protocol involved frequent week-long hospital stays, and intense chemotherapy. That chemotherapy caused unpleasant side effects and setbacks including baldness, extreme nausea, and most of all- decreased immunity. Because of that decreased immunity, I spent most of my time either in the hospital, at a doctor’s office, or at home. During my imposed isolation, I spent a lot of time watching Disney movies, playing with Barbies, and coloring. Around the time of one of my biggest setbacks, a representative from Make-A-Wish Alabama stopped by my hospital room and told me that my wish was going to be granted! I immediately knew what I wanted and was so excited to be able to meet the characters that had kept me company during my treatment. Mickey, Minnie, the Princesses, and Chip and Dale made the top of my autograph list!
But wishes don’t just bring hope and joy to the wish child alone. My sister put it this way: “Throughout Amanda's journey, there were many times that I had to be away from my immediate family. Although Make-A-Wish granted my sister the wish, it positively impacted my entire family. Her wish to go to Disney World allowed our family to take a much needed trip as a whole family, make life-long memories, and share many laughs. We still talk about the memories we made on Amanda’s wish!”
My family’s trip to Disney World was magical, but even more than that, it was life changing. Keith says that: “I’ve seen the impact continue for Amanda’s parents, grandparents, and sister even today. They still talk about what a fun time it was and how much they enjoyed the time to get away as a family.” We are so thankful for the opportunity that Make-A-Wish Alabama created for us!
Today, I grant wishes for other children facing critical illnesses as the Wish Manager at Make-A-Wish Alabama, and Ashley and Keith both volunteer in different areas to help wishes come true, too! These past few years have fourced our wish kiddos to be even more imaginative and follow their heart to think outside of the box. We've had the priveledge of granting wishes for room redecorations, customized computers, campers and everything in between! Regardless of the kiddo's wish, the result is the same. That child feels like the superstar they are, the family makes memories for a lifetime, and that kiddo gets to experience the innocence of childhood again. As we’ve said, we believe in the power of wishes!
This hike gives us the chance to participate in something bigger than ourselves and give back to an organization that is very dear to our hearts. We have pledged to again raise $10,000 (the average direct cost of a wish in Alabama) and we need your help! We know we can reach our goal with YOU by our side!
Thank you so much for visiting our Fundraising Page. Please join us on our journey by following along on our Facebook and Instagram accounts (@a_mandy_please & @k_dickey_10) as well as on our YouTube channel.
If you would like to donate toward our fundraising goal but would rather send a check, please make it out to Make-A-Wish Alabama and mail it to us directly at: 2371 Lime Rock Road, Vestavia Hills, Alabama 35216. We’ll complete the required paperwork and take it to the Make-A-Wish Alabama office.
This donation is tax-deductible and helps make a difference in the life of a child in Alabama, just like it did for me. A gift of any size will help us reach our goal!
Amanda, Keith, Ashley, & Anisha
Wish Kid In Tow