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In the summer of 2016, Make-A-Wish® Northern Alberta celebrated 900 wishes coming true in the region. To mark the milestone, they granted a special wish for a young girl who wished to do something that a lot of people take for granted. Here’s her story.
Jeri-Ann is a typical 12-year-old, with many hobbies -- she enjoys soccer, hip hop dance and is also in a sewing club. Unfortunately, her life-threatening respiratory condition prevents her from participating in certain activities that could bring her joy – like flying in an airplane to travel to far off places. So when the time came to reveal her one true wish, Jeri-Ann had a simple request. “I wish to fly,” she said.
Normally, this request would seem nearly impossible to fulfil for someone with Jeri-Ann’s condition, but thanks to the creative wish-granting team at Make-A-Wish® and friends at WestJet, Jeri-Ann’s wish came true!
Jeri-Ann and her family were invited to the Edmonton International Airport where WestJet pilot, Captain Deere and the team, revealed that her wish would come true. He explained that she’d get to fly over her dream destination of New York City in a state-of-the-art flight simulator. Jeri-Ann was also presented with her own special First Officer’s uniform, and travel bag to make sure she was able to feel like a real pilot.
A few days later, Jeri-Ann and her family travelled to Calgary, where her wish was granted. Captain Deere and the WestJet crew welcomed Jeri-Ann to WestJet, where she visited the airline’s hangar. She toured around, looking like a real pilot in her new uniform, and learned about the science of flight and what it takes to get a plane off the ground.
Next, Captain Deere took Jeri-Ann to the flight simulator for the trip of her dreams. Jeri-Ann not only had the chance to feel what it was like to fly, but she was also able to fly the plane, and guide it over New York City… with help from Captain Deere, of course! Captain Deere was so impressed with Jeri-Ann’s skills that he awarded her with honorary pilot’s wings after their flight.
Jeri-Ann and her family said that some of the most memorable moments of the wish were arriving at the WestJet headquarters in a limo and all of the special attention Jeri-Ann received. Although Jeri-Ann was nervous, it was a time she will never forget.
Make-A-Wish and Jeri-Ann’s family are so grateful to WestJet for going above and beyond in making this an incredible experience for Jeri-Ann.
When a wish is granted, it does much more than bring joy to a child’s heart. For kids like Jeri-Ann, who are faced with life-threatening medical conditions, a wish-come-true provides them with strength to battle through darkness and gives them hope for healthier, happier days ahead.
Be part of the magic and transform the lives of children facing life-threatening medical conditions. Help grant a wish by donating today.