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Embracing Hope and Possibility: Alejo's wish

  • Alejo and his parents, Jennifer and Juan

  • Alejo relished his visits to the pool.

  • Alejo dances with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. "The happiness on his face was indescribable."

  • "Make-A-Wish gave us as parents a unique energy recharge."

  • "Alejo's wish was a victory; a celebration of his first year after transplant."

“ Alejo's wish was a victory; a celebration of his first year after transplant and we will never forget it. ”

- Wish mom Jennifer

Since he was four months old, Alejandro, known as “Alejo,” has been hospitalized for months at a time, surrounded by doctors and nurses, watching sick people struggle like him. His wish was the first time he enjoyed a really playful, happy experience.

Alejandro's mother, Jennifer, shares her family's Make-A-Wish experience:

Alejo is noble and resilient. He enjoys going to the park, painting, and dancing. He always tells us he loves us. He gives me every flower he finds and is eager to help us, even becoming our doctor when we are sick.

As an infant, Alejo was diagnosed with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that impacts immune system function. It has been a very hard road. After a failed bone marrow transplant in 2016, Alejo received a second transplant in early 2018.

Our son is still fighting for his life. Due to his medications and chemotherapy, he developed inflammation in his brain and spine, reducing his mobility. Last December, doctors discovered he had a dangerous airway obstruction. He is receiving treatment and improving. As he endures so much, we as parents have to summon the same courage he has, and we must continue fighting as a family until Alejo fully recovers.

We were very happy when our social worker, Jorge Fernández at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute / Boston Children’s Hospital, referred Alejo for his wish. Alejo chose a trip to Walt Disney World® Resort. We scheduled the trip for the end of the first year post-transplant, and this made Alejo’s wish a great motivator. He knew he must be even stronger and take his medicines in order to recover and be with all his favorite characters, especially Mickey Mouse and Pluto.

Alejo was fascinated by the limo that picked us up and the big planes at the airport. We loved that each theme park had a different magic. When we met Mickey and Pluto, it was fantastic. Alejo absolutely believes they are real. He embraced them, kissed them, and laughed with a special emotion. The happiness on his face was indescribable.

Make-A-Wish gave us as parents a unique energy recharge. For four years, we did not rest. We have felt the highest levels of stress, anxiety, and sadness, facing the possibility of our only child’s death and the loneliness of not having all our loved ones close. Yet it has also been enriching, because we are surrounded with angels who have listened, wept, and rejoiced with us. As parents, we can never give up and we have to always have faith.

Alejo’s wish was a victory; a celebration of his first year after transplant and we will never forget it. You all are part of our recovery process and are family now. You provided our son with the opportunity to dream and learn that anything is possible. On behalf of our family, thank you.

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Alejo with Make-A-Wish volunteer Brian

“I’m a dad of four boys…I’m a kid at heart, so I thought by becoming a volunteer, I might be able to help a wish kid smile at the very least. I love Make-A-Wish because we bring a bit of normalcy to families like Alejandro’s who are in and out of hospitals and treatment.”

 - Brian Herlihy, Make-A-Wish volunteer

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