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Make-A-Wish Kansas Blog

Nov 22, 2016

The Wedding Gift

In 2005, Danny Baker’s wish to go to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii was granted. Today, Danny’s wish means more to him than ever. He recalls the trip as a week of being a normal teenager. It was a week of joy that gave him an edge in conquering his illness. The impact of his wish has spread to his fiancé Ashleigh, who often comments to her friends how grateful she is to Make-A-Wish for giving Danny hope and happiness.

Knowing how special Make-A-Wish is to both Danny and Ashleigh, Ashleigh’s bridesmaids decided to involve the magic of a wish in their wedding day.

On September 24, 2016, the magical gift was given. As the two bridesmaids stood up to deliver their speeches at the reception, a video began to play. Pictures from their childhoods began to dance across the screen, including pictures from Danny’s wish. The video then transitioned to Zander, a 7-year-old from Garnett, Kansas, who suffers from a neurological condition. Pictures of Zander were shown and his story was told. Like any child his age, Zander loves to play. His days are filled with blocks, balls, swings, and bouncing on the trampoline. Due to his condition, though, he can’t withstand extreme changes in temperature as that increases his risk for seizures; therefore, many days he must stay inside. On these days, he often sits near the windows to watch the activity outside. Because of this, Zander wished for a play room where he can play year-round.

At that moment, the bridesmaids delivered their gift to Danny and Ashleigh. “For your wedding gift, we want to give you the opportunity to meet another wish child and help create the same kind of memories for him as Make-A-Wish did for you,” they said. Inside the box was a toy that was to be placed in Zander’s new play room.

On November 5, Danny and Ashleigh drove to Garnett, Kansas for Zander’s big wish reveal. The playroom was finished – it was a space with bright walls, large windows, and soft floors. But one corner sat empty. Danny and Ashleigh took Zander over to that corner, where they placed the toy they had brought for him. And with that, the room - and the new friendship - was complete. 

Wish child Zander with Danny and Ashleigh

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