Zach's Fund Make a Wish Kid - NOAH
"Noah has always known he was adopted and that he had other family members. We have exchanged letters and photos with his birth family throughout the years, and, as Noah became older, and social media became more popular, they used email, text messaging and Facebook to stay in touch with each other. He always knew he wanted to meet them in person someday.
Then, 2015 rolled around and dealt us all a blow we never expected [the diagnosis]. Despite how truly terrible that overall experience has been, so much good has come out of it! And, it’s not over yet! As Noah began to heal in the hospital, one of his cardiologists explained he would be referring him to Make-A-Wish. I was initially taken back by this, because I thought Make-A-Wish only worked with terminally ill children. I was very relieved to learn that that is not the case. The organization grants wishes for children age 2 1/2 - 18 who have (or have had) life-threatening medical conditions, and that certainly now described Noah. Sepsis, endocarditis and aortic valve replacement all fit that bill!
Make-A-Wish treats hundreds of children and their families to Disney experiences; and we’ve all read stories of personal meetings with musicians, actors, or sports figures, and wish-children attending sporting events or special performances. When we learned that Noah had been accepted as a “wish kid,” we tossed several of these ideas around.
Noah thought about all of his options. I explained to him that this was HIS wish; something he had EARNED. Whatever he chose should be something that was very personally important to HIM. At that moment, he knew exactly what to choose: he wanted to meet and spend some time with his birth family.
That wish is about to come true. Very soon, we will board a plane, fly across the country and Noah will have the opportunity to meet the people who forever changed his life face-to-face. His is an unusual wish. In fact, the local Make-A-Wish chapter has never granted a wish like it. I guess, by now, I should be used to my son’s individuality. With nearly the entire world at his feet, he chose to follow his heart, selecting for himself a wish as unique as he is."
A Note from Noah's Family:
“Noah was invited to participate in the 8th Annual Give Back with Zach Panthers Tailgate Fundraiser, hosted by Jim & Mary Louise Ramsey.
Their son, Zach, started a fund to benefit children stricken with cancer and their families, following his own diagnosis with pediatric cancer in 2002. He lost his battle with that disease about three years later, just a few months shy of his 18th birthday. In addition to the Zach Ramsey Children’s Cancer Fund, Zach wanted a portion of the money raised by his Fund to go to the local chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
While Make-a-Wish has worked with the Ramsey’s for the past eight years, Noah was the first "wish kid" directly identified as a recipient of Zach's donations. It was a distinct honor and privilege to have the Ramsey’s welcome us into their event, their lives, and Zach's cause. We are extremely grateful for their continued efforts to honor their son by continuing his mission.