Make-A-Wish Foundation

Local youth heading to Disney World thanks to Make-A-Wish Foundation

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Emily Beauchamp is heading on the trip of a lifetime.

The 13-year-old local youth is heading to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida with her parents Kelly and Janice as well as cousin Carlie Poulin Feb. 18-25. The trip is made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“She’s always wanted to go,” explained Janice.

Emily, who has Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, will be staying with her family at Give Kids the World village near Disney World. Janice said it’s a place geared towards Make-A-Wish children.

They will also be getting Disney World passes and spending money.

Janice said that one of Emily’s friends went to Disney World through the Make-A-Wish Foundation and he wished that Emily could go too. Once the paperwork was properly filed, the wish was granted and the Beauchamp family found out last June.

The family will be picked up by limousine at their Amherstburg home and chauffeured all the way to Hamilton where they will take a West Jet flight to Orlando. They will get the same treatment coming home.

“I’m excited,” said Emily.

A celebration was held Sunday at the Columbus Community Hall as 13-year-old Emily Beauchamp and her family are headed to Disney World through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. From left: Janice Beauchamp, wish granter Yvonne Scott, Emily Beauchamp, wish granter Sarah Scott, Kelly Beauchamp and Carlie Poulin.

Some of the places that Emily said she is looking forward to visiting are the Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios and the Crayola Experience. She also received some gifts during a Sunday afternoon celebration including a new camera, Make-A-Wish t-shirts and craft items. Emily is known for enjoying crafts and made some display boards that were up at the Columbus Community Hall for the celebration.

Wish granters Yvonne and Sarah Scott from the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Windsor office said every wish is different depending on the wishes of the child and the donations they receive. Sarah explained that Emily was quiet when they first met her but has since been coming out of her shell.

“She opened up to us pretty quickly,” said Yvonne.

The wishes can vary from trips to home and yard renovations, the Scotts said, noting that some children get new play areas in their yards.

“We just like to do it and it brings happiness to kids who have gone through tough times and sadness,” said Yvonne.

Emily has undergone four surgeries, 18 MRI’s, 20 X-rays and 18 ultrasounds in her life. Janice said that Emily is becoming more and more open about what she is going through.

The Columbus Community Hall donated the room and the food with Gary Paquette volunteering his time to cook, added Janice.

Local family turns blue in order to give back to Make-A-Wish Foundation

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Members of a local family will have a bit of a different look for most of this month all in the name of charity.

Kristopher Roehler, son Lukas and daughter Emilia have dyed most, if not all, of their hair blue as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s “Go Blue Go Bald” fundraising campaign. Kristopher has died his hair completely blue, Lukas has the top of his head blue while Emilia has blue streaks in her hair.

Kristopher explained that participants in the campaign are sent a package of hair dye from Make-A-Wish, buttons to attach to their clothes and a pledge sheet.

Kristopher,  Lukas and Emilia Roehler have dyed either all or part of their hair blue as part of a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The family hopes to raise $500. Also pictured are youngest son Max and wife/mom Lisa.

Kristopher, Lukas and Emilia Roehler have dyed either all or part of their hair blue as part of a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The family hopes to raise $500. Also pictured are youngest son Max and wife/mom Lisa.

“The fundraiser helps children who have potentially life-threatening illness or who are extremely sick,” explained Kristopher. “It’s a way of raising money so they can have the wish of their choice.”

The family is very grateful for what the Make-A-Wish Foundation has done for them and this is their way of giving back.

The Roehler family, which also includes mom Lisa and youngest son Max, went on a trip to Walt Disney World Resort through Make-A-Wish last year. They qualified due to the fact Lukas was born with Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome, an extremely rare condition that affects the immune system and blood production.

“When Lukas was three-months-old, he underwent a bone marrow transplant at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto,” said Kristopher.

Lukas also needed many blood transfusions throughout his young life. Shortly after the surgery, he was in a coma with family and friends praying in a nearby church for him. Kristopher said Lukas came out of his coma roughly one hour later and “he never looked back since.

“We believe he is miraculously healed,” he said.

His follow-up treatments have reduced from three to four times per week in London to just once a year. Lukas is now four-years-old

Lisa said the family has a personal goal of raising $500 for the “Go Blue Go Bald” campaign. Kristopher, Lukas and Emilia have to keep the blue in their hair through Feb. 25, when it is shaved at a Windsor spa as part of the fundraiser. Kristopher admits his blue hair is getting him noticed, whether it is a few double-takes at a drive-thru or being questioned by his students, as he is a teacher at Villanova.

“I got swarmed by kids asking me ‘what’s going on?’ and ‘why do you have blue hair?” said Kristopher. “I had a kid say ‘is this for school spirit?” and I said ‘not this time.’”

People can donate through Lukas’ page on the Make-A-Wish Foundation website, found by searching his name at www.makeawishswo.ca/gobluegobald. People can also contact Kristopher at k_roehler@yahoo.com to arrange a donation.

“So far, we’ve been amazed by the generosity of a lot of people,” said Kristopher.

Lisa added that if they can somehow make a child’s wish come true, “we’d be so happy to do so.”