By the time Cole had turned two, he had been through more than most people experience in a lifetime, including numerous surgeries to correct a seizure disorder and remove a tumor in his left temporal lobe. Make-A-Wish® helped to bring joy back into his and his family's life by sending them to the beach a few years later.
"Our family had a chance to take a deep breath and feel a sense of togetherness and joy like never before," said Cole's mother. "He kept saying 'I just can't believe this is happening.' That sense of joy and pride he felt was so amazing for us to see after seeing him go through so much. For once, he felt something good had happened because of his brain tumor instead of all the bad he had once endured. Through his wish, Cole gained a happiness and confidence he would have never had otherwise."
Since the first wish was granted on April 29, 1980, Make-A-Wish has given hope to more than 240,000 kids just like Cole who are battling life-threatening medical conditions, including more than 15,000 in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. More than 80% of these kids are still living today -- a testament to the power of a wish. In fact, according to a 2011 study commissioned by Make-A-Wish® America, 71 percent of adult former wish kids believe the wish experience contributed to saving their lives.