A main event wish

Over the years, Make-A-Wish Connecticut has been consistent in granting the wishes of local kids, but none of it would be possible without the help of everyone in the community. As the need for wishes grows, so does the need for continued generosity. With 70% of wishes involving air travel, the miles donated will be extremely beneficial for the Wish Kids. The HAN Network is supporting Make-A-Wish Connecticut with the HAN Network Wishes in Flight Campaign. With a goal of 300,000 donated airline miles, you can help make travel wishes come true.

Cole found inspiration from World Wrestling Entertainment superstar John Cena while hospitalized with a life-threatening medical condition.

“When I was in the hospital, he kind of got me moving, and that’s pretty cool because I didn’t want to walk,” the 7-year-old Wilton resident said.

Cole’s wish was to meet his favorite WWE superstar, so Make-A-Wish arranged for a car to take Cole’s family to the airport and flew them to Austin, Texas, for a vacation that included meeting Cena and seeing one of his matches, going on a duck boat tour, and staying in the same hotel as the wrestlers. Cole even appeared on television when Cena ran over to him during the match to give him a towel and ask him if he was having a good time.

Cole’s mom shared that the three-day trip to Austin was a nice break from the chaotic, stressful routines her family had developed since Cole became sick two years ago.

“We were so displaced and crazy for so long. It was very nice because we didn’t have to think about anything,” Cole’s mother said. “Going through all this, we’re always thinking about something — what we have to do, what appointments we have to make — and Make-A-Wish stepped in and took over everything. It was nice to let go and enjoy it with the family.”

More than 100 Connecticut kids are waiting for their wishes to come true in the coming months. You can donate unused Delta or United miles directly to the HAN Network Wishes in Flight Campaign by visiting CT.WISH.ORG/HANNetwork. JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines also accept airline miles donations that support Make-A-Wish through their airline mile donation programs, which can be contributed through their individual websites.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Wish-come-true experiences can do wonders by providing a much-needed break from lengthy hospital stays and medical treatments. They give back to a child what a serious medical condition can take away — the chance to simply enjoy being a kid. Wish kids choose something that will inspire happiness and allow them to spend precious time with their families. The Connecticut chapter has made more than 2,800 wishes come true since its inception in 1986. Learn more about Connecticut wishes at ct.wish.org, or join Make-A-Wish on Facebook (search Make-A-Wish Connecticut) and follow them on Twitter and Instagram (@MakeAWishCT).