Do you remember your sixteenth birthday? Maybe there was a “sweet 16” party or a meaningful gift meant to mark the special occasion. For wish recipient Liam, the day brought a huge surprise. It’s a birthday he won’t soon forget.
Liam is a laid back kid who, according to his family, “takes most things in stride.” Through his early teenage years, however, young Liam has been through a lot. In 2017, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. At first, the diagnosis was overwhelming. He and his family were scared but, after learning more about the situation, their focus turned to getting treatment. The goal was to keep life as normal and positive as possible.
When he first learned that he was eligible for a wish, Liam was surprised. He began thinking of places he might go, people he would like to meet, and experiences he would enjoy. But, just one wish seemed right. Liam has always wanted to have a dog – another family member bringing fun and joy to his family’s home.
As Liam’s sixteenth birthday drew near, a Nor’easter was also approaching the area. Schools had already been cancelled for the next day and people were preparing to hunker down. It looked like it might be a quiet night at home for Liam, but his family and Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island had other ideas.
Dale Martin, a breeder of the Norwich Terrier breed that Liam had researched, was on her way to Liam’s house all the way from Maryland. With Dale was a 12-week-old Norwich Terrier puppy, ready to meet his new family.
Dale and the puppy arrived just in time to celebrate Liam’s birthday. That night, everyone involved with the wish surrounded Liam and showered him with a positive experience. “That evening became very special for our family because it brought people together for one goal,” said Liam’s father Marty. “That goal was to have a negative experience covered with a positive.”
“His expression when he saw his puppy come into the house was priceless,” shared Marty. Liam is an avid New England Patriots fan and named the puppy Brady. Brady has settled in nicely in his new home thanks to a loving family and a generous donation of goodies, including a puppy bed, toys, and treats, from Petland USA.
“Liam seems happier in general,” said Marty. And according to Liam, his favorite part of this whole experience is waking up every day to see and feel his wish.
When asked what he would say to Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island supporters, Liam’s father replied, “Please don’t ever stop.What you do is generous, awesome, and needed.”