A stuffed bunny blanket can turn a bad day into a good day. Just ask Lauren. Her bunny blanket – a gift from her aunt and uncle – always makes her feel better. Radiation treatments, chemotherapy and living with one kidney are still hard. But her bunny blanket makes her braver than she can ever be alone.
One day, Lauren meets volunteers from Make-A-Wish®. They ask what her one true wish would be. She doesn’t want to be, to go, to have, or to meet.
She wants to give.
Lauren imagines a bunny blanket like hers for each patient in the hospital … steadfast, plush-furred allies to help them all get through the toughest times of their lives. Each one hand-delivered by someone who knows every fear, every sleepless night.
Her big day arrives. Lauren leads the way as her helpers push a cart overflowing with stuffed bunny blankets, each her gift of hope and comfort to hospital patients. She hugs each bunny before she hands it to each patient. When she offers bunnies to the older kids, she worries: Are they too grown-up for a bunny? Do they like it?
Yes, they do. They understand, as only those facing a life-threatening condition can. Each gift of a blanket leaves giver and recipient smiling – not to mention everyone who witnesses Lauren’s acts of kindness.
Lauren’s mom, Marlena, is overcome with pride. She knows her daughter just made the world better.
“I’ve always said ‘when I grow up, I want to be like Lauren,’” she says. “I can only hope.”
As Lauren grows up, she can remember her wish and all it accomplished. She can know that it’s possible to change lives. And she can find the strength to overcome her own challenges.
|Lauren, 4: Make-A-Wish Metro New York & Western New York|
There are times when I need to be reminded that what I do really matters. I have bad days, just like we all do. Wish stories like this one warm my heart and fill my eyes with tears. What a selfless example of love Lauren is. At Make-A-Wish®, we grant the wish of every eligible child and a wish knows no bounds. Lauren could have gone to Disney World with her family, met her favorite celebrity or even had a whole new room makeover. Instead, she chose to give back.
As I sit at my desk, tears rolling down my face, I try to imagine what this little girl has gone through in her short life. My brain cannot begin to fathom the pain. At four she has endured more than what most of us do in a lifetime.
I hope we can be a little more like Lauren and spread hope, strength and joy in everything we do. I can only echo what her mother said and hope that I can be just like Lauren when I grow up.