Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic is holding its first-ever Walk For Wishes in the Annapolis area April 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Annapolis Towne Centre.
The community-wide celebration will include a walk around the Towne Center and ongoing family-fun activities including music, face paining, balloon art and more.
Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic has granted the wishes of nearly 8,000 local children fighting life-threatening medical conditions since it was founded in 1983. Last year the chapter granted 365 wishes, each costing on average $7,500, but for every wish granted, there is a local child waiting for a wish. That’s where the fundraiser comes in.
Ellie Centrella, a 12-year-old from Odenton, had the experience of a lifetime last December thanks to Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic.
Ellie has a rare liver disease that prohibits her body from making glucose. She also has an immune deficiency and Crohn’s disease, and her treatment requires drinking cornstarch seven times a day, monitoring her blood glucose and following a strict diet with no sucrose, lactose or fructose. But all that became a side note last year when she was granted her wish of traveling to Hawaii and swimming with the dolphins.
“Having a child with a chronic illness is something that you can’t explain. It is the worst feeling in the world to watch them suffer,” explained Ellie’s mom, Christy Centrella. “While Ellie’s disease is a daily struggle, we are thankful for this opportunity. … Watching the smile on her face was priceless.
“It was the best week ever,” Ellie agreed. “I had such a fun time. Swimming with the dolphins was my absolute favorite. Thank you to everyone who put this together for me.”
To register for the walk, visit the Make-A-Wiish Mid-Atlantic website. Those raising more than $100 will get a free T-shirt.
Photo above: Ellie Centrella getting her wish.