Malachi’s new friend, a three-foot tall Emperor Penguin, waddled over to make his acquaintance. Malachi, 6, giggled at the sight of the iconic bird. His wish to pet a penguin came true the moment he slid his hand over the penguin’s slick layer of feathers.
Malachi’s wish trip to SeaWorld brought his family together after previously spending so much time apart. Malachi’s diagnosis of Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone cancer, forced his parents, David and Julie, to “divide and conquer.” Julie stayed in the hospital with Malachi, while David focused on running the household.
“I love that Make-A-Wish® includes the entire family,” Julie said. “Cancer affects the whole family!”
Less than a month after his sixth birthday, Malachi eagerly walked around SeaWorld and LEGOLAND® during his wish. It amazed Julie “to see Malachi so happy and feeling like normal” when surgeons had operated to remove a large tumor pushing down on his brain the day prior to Malachi’s fifth birthday.
The wish transformed Malachi and his family, bringing joy and hope during a dark period that kept the family apart due to his treatments and low immune system.
“Make-A-Wish gives joy and hope to families that are struggling and dealing with tough, life-altering circumstances,” Julie said.