Make-A-Wish Georgia to grant 6,000th wish - FOX 35 News Orlando

Make-A-Wish Georgia to grant 6,000th wish

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ATLANTA -

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is famous for making dreams come true for children with life threatening illnesses. This summer, the chapter in Georgia is expecting to grant its 6,000th wish.

Jayden Wilson, 5, was one the kids who received a wish after a life-altering diagnosis.

When Jayden was 2, his parents noticed he was constantly holding his head to one side. At first his doctor thought he had a crick in his neck, but it wasn't long before they discovered the problem was much more serious.

"They found out he had a tumor right here on his neck, and it had already eaten a 1/4 inch into his spine," said Jayden's dad, Christopher Wilson.

Jayden has a rare disease that is similar to cancer, and had surgery to remove the tumor.

"What happened was he responded badly to the surgery.  So he basically shut down.  And when he shut down, they had to put him basically on life support for a week," said Christopher.

Jayden has recovered, but there's a 50 percent chance that the tumors will come back.

That's why the Make-A-Wish Foundation wanted to give Jayden the experience of a lifetime. It sent his family on an all-expense paid trip to Disney World.  Jayden never waited in line, and the Disney characters treated him like royalty.

"When surveyed, we find that 9 out of 10 medical professionals say the wish experience can have a positive impact on the child's health.  And when you talk to the families, practically all of them say the wish experience helps their family feel normal again," said John Brennan, CEO, Make-A-Wish Georgia.

Make-A-Wish Georgia needs donations in order to hit a milestone later this year.  The agency hopes to grant its 6,000th wish to children in the state.

"Right now we have over 650 children waiting in line for their dreams to come true. All are very, very ill, and all want a special wish to help them get through the greatest challenge of their life," said Brennan.

"It's been amazing. We can't put into words how grateful we are. They gave us family time. They gave us a trip that we will never forget. And they gave him the time of his life that I don't think he'll ever have again," said Christopher.

You can help raise money for kids like Jayden this Saturday. There is a Walk for Wishes event at 9 a.m. at Turner Field where people will walk two miles to the State Capitol. The goal is to raise $325,000 from friends and family members who sponsor the people walking. For more information on the event, click here!

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