Welcome back! Wish Jump 2014 is underway, and it’s shaping up to be the best year yet!
The interest in this year’s event is soaring and we’re expecting 30 participants for the event on July 26, 2014. In the last three years, 58 Wish Jumpers have raised nearly $70,000 for Make-A-Wish Northeast New York. This year our goal is $35,000, pushing the total money raised by this event to $100,000!
Make-A-Wish Northeast New York grants approximately 100 wishes a year to children ages 2-18 in the 518 area code who have life-threatening medical conditions. Wishes give the children and teens something fun and exciting to think about and look forward to. It’s an experience that offers hope, strength, and joy to wish children and their families at a time in their lives when these gifts can make a life-transforming difference for everyone who is touched by it.
For the first time in its four year history, Wish Jump will have its first Wish Jumper who is also one of Make-A-Wish NENY’s wish recipients! Rachael Murray, now 18, was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in the summer of 2012. Rachael was a high school senior and an accomplished diver on the school dive team. One day during practice she was having difficulty breathing. It rapidly worsened and that night she was taken to the emergency room. After dozens of tests, doctors discovered a mass the size of a paper plate wrapped around her heart and lung, restricting blood flow to her main artery. Doctors were amazed that she had been able to engage in any type of athletic activity at all.
Rachael underwent 9 months of debilitating chemotherapy and radiation. Aside from family and friends, the most important thing that kept Rachael positive, inspired, and focused on happier times was listening to her favorite band, the Dave Matthews Band. DMB played in the car as her Mom drove her to and from treatments, in her hospital room, and during her chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The music, and more importantly, the lyrics seemed to speak directly to her, encouraging her to be strong and brave through the real life nightmare she was living. Upon learning that she qualified for a wish through Make-A-Wish Northeast New York, it’s no surprise that meeting the Dave Matthews Band was Rachael’s heartfelt wish. Her wish (dream) came true in May of 2013 when she attended the DMB concert at SPAC with her family. She and her family were given VIP treatment, and were able to meet and spend time with the band backstage before the show, and the band could not have been nicer or more accommodating.
Rachael is now cancer free and in her freshman year at Ithaca College. We are so excited to have Rachael on the Wish Jump team!