Tom was diagnosed with stage 3B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on October 24, 2012, at the age of 15. His chemo treatments consisted of 3 consecutive days of hospitalization with Chemotherapy and back to the hospital on day 8 for more chemotherapy. He completed 6 rounds of chemo and was declared in remission. During Tom’s treatment, his doctor recommended him as a possible recipient of a wish from Make-A-Wish Minnesota. After meeting with Wish Granters about possible options, Tom found out on February 25th that his wish to visit the Vatican in Rome would be coming true in June of 2013.
This trip to Rome gave Tom and our family something to look forward to during a time when we had lost hope. The trip was marvelous and it gave us a chance to feel like a “normal” family again. We spent hours visiting historic sites and long nights talking over dinner about everything that was important to us.
Tom was asked by Make-A-Wish Minnesota after the trip to give a couple of speeches about his experience and how his wish had impacted his life. He realized that he loved public speaking, was good at it, and he became a spokesperson for Make-A-Wish Minnesota for the next two years of high school. He traveled to several corporations to speak and his speech was very compelling about how Make-A-Wish had impacted him. He was also asked to give a speech at several Make-A-Wish Minnesota events. When Tom moved to Wisconsin to attend college, he went through training and became a Wish Granter along with his sister, Ashley.
Tom continued to be passionate about Make-A-Wish and he had long-term plans to be involved with the organization down the road. When Tom passed away, we designated Make-A-Wish as a charity of choice. We are grateful for the donations that people made to Make-A-Wish Minnesota in memory of Tommy and we were able to sponsor two children’s wishes with the donations.
Beth, Ashley, and Sarah are becoming Wish Granters and also spokespeople for Make-A-Wish Minnesota to honor Tommy’s passion for this organization.
If you are interested in learning more about Make-A-Wish and some of the ways you can be involved or learn more about what they do, visit wish.org/minnesota