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Hayden's wish creates the perfect play space

“ The wish gave him something to dream about (while in the hospital)... Make-A-Wish puts a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart ”

- Bonnie, wish mom

  • Hayden , 9

    • lymphoid leukemia
    • I wish to have a game room
  • I wish to have

Hayden’s mouth dropped as he stepped into his basement. His hands clutched a bag of video games just purchased after a typical day at school. His eyes trailed over the new room before him. Two video game chairs, an air hockey table, mini hockey set and much more. Even his favorite sports team memorabilia outfitted the walls around him.

Hayden would no longer be spending nights playing video games in a hospital bed or while undergoing chemotherapy treatment. For this day and every day after, the 9-year-old who had battled lymphoid leukemia, would be playing many games in the comfort of his wish – a game room.

“I liked the whole entire wish,” Hayden said. “(My mom and I) talked about a lot of things for my wish, and I decided (on) that because I always wanted a game room the most of all.”

For Hayden’s parents, Kurt and Bonnie, the game room provided much more than a place of refuge for Hayden.

“The wish allowed the family to share their individual ‘wishes’ and to discuss what Hayden’s wish was,” Bonnie said. “Once completed, it brought the family together to enjoy and remember our family’s journey.”

While in the hospital undergoing treatment, Hayden and his family would think of his game room.

“We had tried to remain positive while we went through treatment for Hayden’s leukemia,” Kurt recalled. “The Make-A-Wish experience just complimented our journey with Hayden through the leukemia treatment.”

Hayden, who has a particular liking for the National Hockey League’s Arizona Coyotes, received some autographed items from the team to complete his game room wish. Some other favorite aspects of the reveal for Hayden were the popcorn machine and lava lamp.

“The wish gave him something to dream about (while in the hospital),” Bonnie said. “Make-A-Wish puts a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart.”

The Make-A-Wish experience just complimented our journey with Hayden through his leukemia treatment ”

— Kurt, wish dad

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  • Nancy with Team Alex is our #WAMRiderOfTheWeek. This will be her seventh-year riding in WAM. As a pediatric cardiologist at Beaumont, Nancy has had many opportunities to refer patients to Make-A-Wish® Michigan and they are never far from her thoughts while she’s riding. “It is such an honor to be able to nominate a child for a wish. I get to hear their dreams and watch them come alive. To be able to help grant wishes for them by raising money and awareness has been priceless. When I am riding and it is raining buckets with lightening and gusting winds, the familiar faces of my patients and what they go through really does enter my thoughts.” When it comes to training for the full 300-mile route, Nancy has the following advice, “It is all about "saddle time". Your legs will usually "show up" but it is the tush that gives out first. Don't sweat the miles, put in the time.” Wondering what has kept her motivated after six years of participating in Wish-A-Mile? Nancy stated, “it is the inspiration of the kids that kept pushing and pushing me. Team Alex just made it such an amazing experience. You truly become family with the other riders and I have formed lasting friendships. Alex's legacy was with me through my first year of training, the ride, and still is today.” To register for WAM or to donate visit #WAM30

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