Oliver's wish inspires him to help more kids with critical illnesses

Sometimes in life, we are faced with obstacles. Some harder than others, and some scarier than the next. But it’s how we face those obstacles that is often the greatest challenge. For wish kid, Oliver, obstacles present themselves far too often.

Oliver, 8, lives with osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disorder known as brittle bone disease. He has had to endure several broken bones and multiple surgeries, and miss out on life events because of his disease. Oliver’s mom, Natalie, shares how heartbreaking it is to see him miss out on things with friends and family but says, “We adjust and adapt to whatever is thrown at him. He may have to miss out this time, but maybe we can plan something similar when he feels better”.

The family adapts and responds to whatever obstacle they are confronted with, like installing a ramp at their house so Oliver can have his independence to go out and play with his friends whenever he wants. Together, with the support of loved ones, they find ways to overcome obstacles, learn and grow as a family.

We sat down with Natalie and Oliver to learn about the impact that Oliver’s wish had on him and his family.

“Last year, Oliver had been watching the major volcanic eruptions in Hawaii and the natural curiosity and imagination of an eight-year-old boy was instantly captured! When he was asked what his wish would be, Oliver responded quickly with, ‘I want to see an actual volcano!’.   

When Oliver learned he would receive a wish, he was so proud and honoured to be able to share it with his family. The wish was an amazing adventure where we were all together, having fun and enjoying a number of activities that we would have never experienced otherwise. His wish began with a tour of the cockpit and a warm reception including a real flower lei in Hawaii. We stayed in a beautiful hotel, visited a waterfall, attended a dinner luau, saw endangered seals and watched a turtle being tagged for science research. The highlight of the trip was when Oliver was able to take a helicopter ride over the actual volcanoes in Hawaii that he had been watching on TV. 

Every one of us enjoyed this experience and being together while we were all healthy and able to enjoy Hawaii to the fullest. We will remember this for the rest of our lives. Most of Oliver’s big events in his life are spent anticipating surgeries or recovering from them. Having a wish to look forward to was so important for him. It was wonderful to see him waiting in excitement for his trip instead of anxious before going to the hospital. 

This wish was so important for all of us as a family – to see what is possible and know that there is no limit to what Oliver can do or what we can do together. Where there’s a wish, there’s a way!”

During the summer of 2019, Oliver represented Make-A-Wish Canada as The 5K Foam Fest Wish Kid Ambassador.

When a wish is granted, it does much more than bring joy to a child’s heart. For wish kids like Oliver, who are faced with critical illnesses, a wish-come-true provides them with strength to battle through darkness and hope for healthier, happier days ahead.

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