“I was lucky I got it, because there’s kids that go through it then they have to live their life like they did. They don’t get their childhood like they wanted. I wanted to raise money so more kids could get their wish.”
Zack was 5 and battling rhadbdomyosarcoma — a rare form of cancer. His mother said she hadn’t seen him smile in a long time … until he met Meaty, an 8-foot tall T-Rex statue in his backyard. He says it was “one of the best days of his life.”
Fast forward ten years. Zack is now 15, cancer-free and on a mission. Meaty is still standing in his backyard, but now serves as a reminder of his wish day. A day that he hopes he can give to other kids through his annual fundraiser.
Make A Move for Make-A-Wish is a 5-mile walk, run and bike race that Zack came up with on his own. In its three year history, the event has raised over $120,000 for Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Zack’s original goal was to raise $3,900 the first year — but was completely shocked when the grand total was $25,000!
What’s inspiring to me about Zack’s story is that he did this all on his own. Most kids these days take things and run … but he chose to give back because Make-A-Wish did something for him. I want to give back because I can. It’s completely selfless. He has already been gifted with a wish, and now feels compelled to do something greater.
When former wish kids give back to Make-A-Wish, it brings a huge sense of pride and accomplishment. It is not a one-and-done type of gesture, but a gesture that insists on putting other people before yourself.
With the average cost of a wish today, Zack has raised enough money to grant wishes for 12 children.
The 4th Annual Make A Move for Make-A-Wish is this Sunday. All proceeds will benefit Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia. For more information or to register, click here.