Making Dreams Come True

Pipestone Flyer

Imagine for a moment sitting in the front of a race car, feeling the heat of the engine and the roar of the horsepower as it carries you across the finish line in first place. The inner track is filled with other drivers and racetrack staff, lining the pavement to cheer you on. The substantial crowd has risen to their feet, applauding and living the moment with you. You emerge from your car and are lifted to the roof. You take hold of the trophy, turn to the crowd, and hoist it high for all to see.

This is what dreams are made of, and this is exactly what three year old, Liam Brechin of Sherwood Park, experienced the evening of July 5th, 2014 at The Edmonton International Raceway in Wetaskiwin, Alberta.

Liam, who has been diagnosed with leukemia, is one of over eighty-five children whose wishes are being made come true this year by partnerships between Make-A-Wish and generous companies and individuals wanting to help. Though Liam’s ‘wish’ is to go to Disney World, which already has been adopted by ‘Mud, Sweat & Gears’ out of Edmonton, additional opportunities like, “A Day At The Races” are given to the kids of Make-A-Wish as they come available.

Katie Willis, Communications Coordinator for Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta, says Make-A-Wish kids state three wishes they would like to happen. Of these, which can range anywhere from, “Feed the hungry of the world,” “Meet Einstein” or, “Go to Disney World,” the team, which consists of the family, Make-A-Wish staff and the wish sponsors, will decide which wish can be granted. As Katie Willis says, “Unfortunately, some wishes cannot be fulfilled within this space-time continuum.”

To help kids choose their wishes, Make-A-Wish prompts them with four questions; “I wish to meet, I wish to go, I wish to be, and I wish to have.” Lately, Katie says that they are introducing a new question, “I wish to give,” as many children are wishing to do something good for others. Kids are asking to go help a family in Mexico as their wish, or recently, one child asked to help and hold hurting animals, so their wish was granted by going to the Edmonton Humane Society who works with abused and abandoned animals. Once the wish has been decided, a very special evening is planned in which the wish is revealed to the child.

What is truly remarkable about the Adopt-A-Wish program, in which companies and individuals take on sponsorship of a child’s wish, is they can become far more than just the money behind the scenes. They become part of a team, involved throughout the process with the family and the planning.

Such an individual is Don Lawrence of Shell Canada. Don became involved with Make-A-Wish and the Brechin family for the first time this year, offering his services (and race car) to make a special evening and a memorable experience for young Liam. Having previous experience with someone going through what Liam is going through, Don wants to make a difference, and give back what he can.

Katie Willis says that companies like Shell Canada have been incredible partners with Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta, but the opportunities for anyone to help are unlimited. Many of their wishes require all kinds of skills and trades which can be given as, “In-kind donations.”

Memories are powerful. For some of us, our memories can be a lifeboat to carry us through some very dark waters. This is one of the gifts that Make-A-Wish offers young kids like Liam. If you would like to learn more about them, visit them online at www.makeawishna.ca.

Pictured: Liam Brechin’s smile says it all as Don Lawrence prepares to take him for a spin in his blue #8 at the Edmonton International Raceway in Wetaskiwin, AB. Photo submitted

Just Posted

County of Wetaskiwin finds encroachment claim unfounded

Living quarters in garage had to be removed: County planner

New executive director for Pigeon Lake Watershed Association

Catherine Peirce has experience working with governments, non-profits

Theft of $140,000 in machinery investigated in County of Wetaskiwin

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate theft of pipe fusion equipment

County of Wetaskiwin may change firefighting billing

Currently ‘user pay,’ may go to countywide fees on tax bills

Wetaskiwin man facing 17 charges after Oct. 9 arrest

Wetaskiwin RCMP locate and arrest prolific offender

VIDEO: First legal cannabis purchases as midnight strikes in eastern Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador was the first province to kick off the sale of cannabis, just after midnight local time

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set for parole bid after 25 years in prison

Bernardo’s parole hearing at the Bath Institution is expected to attract numerous observers

Defence cautions against mob justice in Calgary child neglect trial

Jennifer and Jeromie Clark of Calgary have pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death

Feds eyeing options to expedite pardons for minor pot convictions

Internal discussions have focused on an application-based process for speeding up pot pardons

U.S. pot firms urge Trump to dominate North American marijuana industry

Cannabis producers claim the U.S. is “rapidly losing” its competitive advantage to Canada

Federal government tables bill to transform prisoner segregation

Administrative and disciplinary segregation will be eliminated by Ottawa

Most Read