Make-A-Wish alumni give back so the wish can live on

ELK GROVE VILLAGE – Walkers and runners came together to help wishes come true this Sunday at the Walk & Run for Wishes event in Elk Grove Village.

Among the crowd were dozens of people with inspirational stories about how Make-A-Wish changed the lives of those with life threatening medical conditions.

9-year-old Shailen Patel was able to meet his idol Michael Jordan.

“I felt really excited because I was able to meet my inspiration,” Patel said.

“Almost 90 children and their families are participating in the day; this is our largest participation of Wish children and Wish alumns that we’ve had,” said Make a Wish Illinois CEO Stephanie Springs.

For the Guthrie family, Make-A-Wish granted their daughter Leah a trip to Paris before she passed away. Her family continues to support the program.

“It was absolutely beautiful, it was our last family vacation together,” Marie Guthrie said. “It was a precious memory, so we rally together for Team Leah’s Wish there are almost 60 of us here today.”

Liliana Baluteanu’s 11-year-old daughter, who suffers from scleroderma, was granted her wish to be in a real movie.

“It was amazing, it took my mind from all the doctors and everything I’ve had to do for the last three years, and I think that’s their goal to take our minds from what we go through,” Baluteanu said.

This year Make-A-Wish Illinois will grant more than 700 wishes.

Make-a-Wish organizers had hoped to raise $125,000 so they could grant more than 700 wishes. They blew past that goal and were at $140,000 as of Sunday afternoon. It just shows that when a family is granted a wish, they give back, and the wish lives on.