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Ethan's Wish


“ At the end of the day, this wish was centered on family ”

When given the opportunity for a Wish, seven-year-old Ethan, who suffers from a brain tumor, surprised his Wish Granters with a unique wish—to ride a train to San Francisco to visit his aunt.

Ethan's wish experience started in the early morning hours at the Amtrak station, where he climbed aboard the train with his mom, dad, and brother, and where he was named the honorary train conductor and engineer. On the second day of the trip, Ethan woke up as an 8-year-old!  The Amtrak crew decorated a Sightseer Lounge with party favors and cupcakes, and invited the train passengers to Ethan's birthday party. He received more “Happy Birthday” wishes than he can remember, and to top it off, the Amtrak staff surprised him with special gifts!

When the train pulled into the San Francisco station, Ethan was able to join the Engineer on a special tour of the train, where he inspected the various parts and made sure it was safe for the next group of passengers. Ethan spent the next several days in San Francisco with his beloved Aunt Lisa before returning home.

Ethan’s cross-country trip was unforgettable: he was able to see new states and experience things he had only dreamed about. But at the end of the day, his wish was centered on family, and that’s what makes it special.

Trusted Choice teamed up with Make-A-Wish Kansas to help grant Ethan’s wish. The sponsorship of Ethan’s wish is part of a larger commitment ($500,000 in total) from Trusted Choice that will help local chapters throughout the country grant more wishes. As a special treat, local KAIA Trusted Choice agents hosted a Welcome Home party for Ethan when he returned from San Francisco. The party was held at Smoky Valley Railroad where Ethan was joined by his family, friends, and community members. The celebration included snacks, cake, and drinks. It was a perfect ending to a perfect wish. 

  • Ethan on the train

  • The birthday boy and honorary conductor!

  • Ethan's Birthday Party

  • Ethan and the Conductor

  • Ethan scanning a passenger's ticket

  • KAIA's Welcome Home Party for Ethan

  • Ethan at the KAIA Welcome Home Party

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