15-year-old Al has spent many days and nights in a hospital bed trying to keep himself entertained. He has a love and fascination for cryptozoology so his wish let him explore his interests and sparked hope for his future.
Here in Al's own words, he shares his wish experience.
Q. What are your hobbies and some of your favorite things to do?
A. I like drawing, having nerf gun battles, reading about cryptozoology, which is the study of creatures like Bigfoot or Nessie, whose existence has not yet been proven. I read my first cryptid book in 6th grade and I designed an app for computer class that year called “Cryptid Keeper” with information on lots of different cryptids. I want to write books about them one day.
Q. What is it like being away from school and your friends?
A. Last school year I missed over a month of school because I had two hospital stays back-to-back and had to do dialysis three times a week for a few weeks. When I was well enough to go back to school, I had to stay after almost every day for about a month to make up all my work with my homebound teacher. I had just gotten my puppy and I really just wanted to be home with him. I didn’t get to spend too much time with my friends either because of all the regular schoolwork I had to keep up with on the weekends.
Q. What was your wish?
A. I love to read about cryptozoology. I wanted to use my wish to get a good computer to use for writing and creating graphics for my future books and to buy as many cryptozoology books as possible so I could have my own personal “library”.
Q. What made you decide on your wish?
A. I’m not into sports or crazy about one particular singer or group. I don’t know of any trip that relates too much to cryptozoology. So I thought of a shopping spree. At first, I thought that might seem a little greedy, but I’m happiest when I’m thinking about how great it would be to make a career out of my interest in cryptids, and I always take books and a computer to my hospital stays, so I thought they would be practical to buy and fun to have too.
Q. Describe the best or your favorite part of the wish.
A. I liked everything! I didn’t know I was going to get to ride in a limo. That was awesome! The manager at Best Buy was really nice. So was the manager from Game Stop. I wasn’t planning on getting much there even though it’s one of my favorite stores because I really wanted to spend most of my wish money on books, but the manager at Game Stop gave me a really big gift certificate and suggested I get a Wii U because I told him my Wii had broken last month. I played a Wii U last time I was in the hospital and I really liked it. He got so excited helping me pick out games to go with it, then he grabbed a bunch of t-shirts and just gave them to me! He was so generous. Lunch at Outback with [volunteers] Mr. Anthony and Miss Dana was great. They asked me all about cryptids and seemed really interested. The manager at Outback gave me his business card and told me to call him anytime I was coming there to eat so he could take care of me. The last stop of the day was probably my favorite though because I love books and [wish manager] Miss Kari had a list of all the books that I had found on barnesandnoble.com and they had ordered them and had them waiting on me.
Q. What were some other fun details about your wish?
A. The limo driver had a German Shephard too and there was sparkling grape juice and wine glasses in the back of the limo. At home, we always drink that on special occasions in wine glasses so we opened it on the way home, clinked glasses and celebrated having such a great day.
Q. What does this wish experience mean to you?
A. It made me feel like I was a professional cryptozoologist and made me feel really special.
Q. What would you like people to know about you and your Make-A-Wish® experience?
A. I consider my wish as the first big step to my future career as a professional cryptozoologist. I’m so grateful to all the people who made it possible.