The Uproar

A Wish Granted

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Sophomore Andrew Creel loves history. He is often found doing research about people and topics his mother doesn’t even recognize. He has a steel trap of a memory, which his parents often use to their advantage when they forget something themselves. It’s his dream to take his learning to the next level by going to London to see the castles and the Tower of London.

However, there’s one thing that sets Andrew apart from most of his peers. He has a neuromuscular disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and he is confined to a wheel chair because of it. Tuesday, at an assembly in the varsity gym in front of all of his friends, family, and several bleachers full of his peers, Andrew’s wish to go to London was granted by the Make-A-Wish foundation. He leaves Saturday, to spend four days in London with his family.

“It’s really hard to put into words how huge this is for him,” Andrew’s father James Creel said. “It’s literally a once in a lifetime event for him, because there will never be another event like this.”

Because Andrew’s condition is only going to worsen in the next few years, Andrew has a shrinking opportunity to travel before he no longer can.

“When you think about a Wish, like ‘oh I’d love to meet the president, or a rock star or Katy Perry, those things they can still happen two or three years from now for Andrew,” James Creel said. “But we’ve only got a short window for him to experience the world and to see the rest of the planet. Pretty soon our window will collapse and he won’t be able to do something like this next year, or the year after, so it’s huge.”

Dennis Baird, a Wish Granter for Make-A-Wish, began the assembly by telling the crowd that this was a presentation on communication skills. He asked for volunteers to perform an exercise in the form of a telephone-game, with Andrew being one of the students chosen. After the ‘exercise’ was performed, Baird surprised Andrew by revealing that this was actually a presentation for his Wish to be granted and that he was going to London.

“Once a Wish Kid is referred by their doctor or their parent, they are paired with Wish Granters like myself, and we go out and meet the Wish Kid,” Baird said. “I met (Andrew) about a year ago, and found out all about him and found out his Wish was to go to London because he’s a huge history buff, so he wants to go over there and see all of the historical things.”

For the teachers and staff who work with students like Andrew on a regular basis, it is a blessing to see opportunities like this be granted to someone who is deserving of it.

“It’s amazing. These kids are great kids, they work hard, they’re happy people and he is such a joy to have in my class,” partners-in-PE teacher Jenna Goolsby said. “So for him to have this opportunity is truly incredible and it brings tears to my eyes. I am so excited for him and I hope he has a wonderful time.”

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