MILTON, Ga. – Taking a trip to Fry’s Electronics or lunch out might not seem like a life-changing event, but for one Roswell family, it was just that. Thirteen-year-old Trenton Harris was given a day out on the town Sept. 29 courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Trenton has suffered with leukemia for just over a year, and his wish was to get a shopping spree at the Fry’s Electronics and Gamestop stores, as well as a lunch at Ippolito’s in Roswell.
“It’s uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time,” said Make-A-Wish volunteer Angela Arnould. “I walk away and it helps keep my own problems in perspective,”
Not all wishes are to go to Disney World, said Mary Kay Allen, a volunteer with Make-A-Wish.
“If the child is under 10 years old, it’s usually Disney,” Allen said. “But for an older child, their wish could be anything.”
Anything from international trips to bedrooms made out of Legos, the volunteers are charged with making it happen.
“The kids don’t want pity,” said Allen. “They just want to have fun. The kids are burdened so much by the painful treatments and doctor visits; it gives them something fun to do.”
The Harris family came to Roswell two years ago from Maryland in search of a better life, said Toneisha Harris, Trenton’s mother. A year ago, Trenton was diagnosed with leukemia.
“It was life altering,” she said. “We try to keep a good, positive attitude.”
Trenton, now an eighth-grader at Elkins Point Middle School, underwent chemotherapy and had his hair fall out. In a show of strength for him, Toneisha said the whole family shaved their heads at the same time, so Trenton would not feel so isolated during treatment.
During his therapy, Trenton kept up with his studies and remained on the honor roll even though he only attended a month’s worth of school.
“As parents, you strive to put the best morals in your child and hope they become the best they can be, but you don’t know how well you’ve done until they are put in these situations,” Harris said.
Thankfully, Trenton’s cancer is now in remission.
He made his wish nearly a year ago, so he has had a long time to get excited for it. And he made full use of his time.
At Fry’s, he picked out a shopping cart filled with electronics – a PlayStation 3 game console and a couple of games, a new TV and Blu-Ray player, a new iPod and a new iPad 2. At Gamestop, he got a gift card and gaming goodies from the store as well as more video games. For lunch, the family was taken to Roswell’s Ippolito’s restaurant, where, beyond just the food, they were given tickets to a Falcons game.
“It’s awesome,” Trenton said of his day.
Harris said the wish was a great day both for Trenton and the family.
For more on the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit Georgia.wish.org.