Conor was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract, in 2011. While the disease is not curable, Crohn’s is treatable and we're blessed that Conor receives excellent care from physicians in Erie and Pittsburgh. Thankfully, Conor is responding well to his most recent treatments.
In spring 2015, Dr. Alka Goyal, Conor’s gastroenterologist at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, recommended him for a "wish" from Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Since that time, our family has learned so much about the Make-A-Wish® organization. Initially, we thought they provided wishes to kids only with "terminal" illnesses, but we've since learned that wishes are for kids like Conor with critical illnesses. Their mission is to create life-changing wishes for kids with critical illnesses and we've seen first-hand just how powerful (and life-changing) a wish can be.
In April 2016, Conor received his wish! He spent an afternoon hanging out with his favorite late-night talk show host in New York City. Conor’s wish of meeting a huge celebrity and television personality has made such a positive impact on his health and his life that he wants to pay that feeling forward and give another deserving girl or boy a wish of their own so they too can know the happiness, relief, and renewal a wish can bring.
In 2013, shortly before turning 10, Conor decided to turn his annual birthday parties into pay-it-forward events. That year, Conor raised more than $535 for the Barber National Institute and donated 150 handmade ornaments – made by guests at his birthday party – to Golden Living Center. In 2014, Conor collected and donated 1,100 brand new comic books for children undergoing treatment at Saint Vincent Health Center and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Since 2015, Conor, with help from his friends and family, has raised more than $30,000 for Make-A-Wish to help grant wishes for children with critical illnesses like him.
For his efforts, Conor has also earned recognition for his philanthropic birthday efforts with WJET-TV naming him a "Good Kid" in 2014 and Kohl's Department Stores selecting Conor as a local winner in the 2015 Kohl’s Cares® Scholarship Program. In 2016, Conor was honored as the Association of Fundraising Professionals Northwest Pennsylvania Chapter’s Outstanding Young Philanthropist.
Earlier this year, Conor was named to the Disney Dreamers Academy (DDA) Class of 2020. He was one of 100 high school students selected from more than 10,000 national applicants for DDA, an immersive and transformational program hosted by The Walt Disney Company.
For the 2020 Families for Wishes Campaign, Conor is asking you to join with him to raise $5,017 (for his 17th birthday) to fully fund a child's wish!
Thanks to your generosity, Conor exceeded his 2019 goal by nearly $1,800 (raising $6,786)!
Please click on the "Donate Now" button above to support Conor’s campaign to help Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia give a child a wish this holiday.
Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!
- Alyson, Matthew & Conor