Our Spotlight, Kirsten
“My journey for me is like a dark tunnel and it’s really hard to navigate through this tunnel because you know you have to get to the end. But every once in a while you get handed a flashlight. The small things, eventually, they do fade away and their batteries die. I would like to say that Make-A-Wish they gave me a spotlight and it never died, and it would just help guide me through and it still is today…”
I wish to have a camper
These are the words from one of our very special wish children, Kirsten. When Kirsten’s wish granters first met her in June of 2021 to help identify her wish, she had just completed her treatment and was in remission. During their first meeting, with her three siblings and parents in attendance, they discussed her options for wishes. Kirsten requested that we not use her photo because she was self-conscious about not having hair and using the word “cancer.” Even though Kirsten was facing insecurities, her wish granters immediately knew that she was a truly remarkable girl.
Kirsten wished for a camper so she could continue going on adventures with her family while having her cat, Smokey, with her. (Cats are not allowed in rental campers and Smokey was a big comfort to her during treatment.) While waiting for her camper to arrive, Kirsten’s mom indicated that she had become more comfortable and would be okay with photos at the reveal. One of Kirsten’s wish granters, Chrissy, said this about her wish reveal, “Wow! Was I glad we captured her reaction…it is my favorite moment to date as a wish granter!” Kirsten’s personality shined during the reveal. Her joy was overflowing and contagious!
From there, Kirsten was invited by Chrissy Harte, her wish granter, to attend the Landmark Benefits Holiday Gala, hosted by Chrissy’s husband Tom, to speak about her experience with Make-A-Wish and the impact that Make-A-Wish had on her life. When Chrissy reached out to connect with Kirsten and her family, Kirsten had just received the news that her cancer had returned, and she was back in treatment. Despite the news and the difficult treatment journey, Kirsten was still determined to attend the gala and she did!
At the gala, you could see the powerful growth from when her wish granters first met her in 2021. Kirsten’s personality and strength shined through as she conveyed to the 300 attendees that Make-A-Wish has given her and her family a future to plan with exciting adventures, while she continues to fight her cancer.
After her speech, we were experiencing some technical difficulties with a video and, to our surprise, Kirsten marched back on stage, took the mic, and told a joke to keep the mood light. The girl is a rockstar! This evening was so special for her, and her family and it was also inspiring to all those who attended. We did learn that same night that the week before she’d had such a bad reaction to her chemo she had been taken to the hospital by ambulance, and yet still showed up to the gala to prove she was stronger than cancer. She is UNSTOPPABLE!
Over the last year, Kirsten has continued to amaze us with her perseverance. She has become a wish ambassador and shares her story with such power and emotion. She even spoke at one of our Kids for Wish Kids events at Salem High School where she is now a freshman. It was at Salem High School that Kirsten shared that Make-A-Wish New Hampshire has become a spotlight in her life. It was an unforgettable speech and there was not a dry eye in the room. (Here is the link to view her speech: https://youtu.be/7geiGooGFhs)
Kirsten is a miracle and a spotlight in all our lives. Her wish empowered her and that wouldn’t have been possible without support like yours. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your continued generosity and kindness.