Wishing to be near the ocean

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 your continued generosity. With 70% of wishes involving air travel, the miles you donate will be extremely beneficial for the Wish Kids in your community. The HAN Network is proudly 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.

Brooke, an 8-year-old girl from Ridgefield, loves the water, so being near the ocean was a top priority for her wish. She told Make-A-Wish Connecticut that she wished for peaceful solitude, to see a lot of fish, and to swim in clear water. With those dreams in mind, Brooke and her wish granters came up with the ideal vacation: a St. Croix beach vacation at the Buccaneer in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The trip was special for Brooke, beginning with the wish reveal party. At the time of the reveal, Brooke’s family was planning a 5K race for Brooke, which meant her whole family was in town for her surprise. Brooke’s reveal consisted of her family, island-themed decorations, food, and her favorite animals — alpacas. The reveal was so sweet and special that it made Brooke and her family that much more excited for the trip.

Brooke was treated like a princess from the moment she and her family stepped on the plane. Upon arriving at the hotel, Brooke and her family were greeted with song and dance from the hotel members. They received gifts and even a special visit from the owner of the hotel.

Brooke said she felt like “a famous person”!

The experience progressed from there on out. Brooke, along with her mom, dad and sister, had the opportunity to try many new activities. They swam in the pools and snorkeled in the beautiful, clear water that Brooke had been dreaming of.

“Brooke did it like a pro,” her mom, Maddie, said. “She went off all on her own, and loved it.”

The family also had the chance to go horseback riding along the beach, and the horses took them into the water.

Going on a luminescent canoe ride at night was definitely something not everybody gets the chance to do, but it was a highlight of the trip. The bottom of the canoe was clear and in a special inlet from the ocean, you can put your hands in the water and it will glow. It was amazing!

Brooke and her family noted that it was hard to leave, simply because of the kindness and friendliness of everyone they met on the trip. After all the doctors appointments and medical visits, Brooke and her family realized how important this trip was to them.

“Once we got there, it changed everything,” said Brooke’s mom. “We realized how much the four of us needed time to spend together and focus on each other. Just having the family together was priceless.”

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).