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Drew's wish makes a splash


“ It was the gold medal at the end of the race. ”

- Shawna, Drew’s mom

Drew can make almost anyone smile. His light-hearted and joyful personality is contagious to everyone around him, but when Drew was diagnosed with leukemia, he and his family never expected that their lives would take an unimaginable turn.

After his initial diagnosis, Drew spent the next two and a half years receiving treatment and enduring countless medical procedures. His days were full of doctor’s visits and the all too familiar pokes and prods of needles.

“As a parent it feels like you can never exhale,” said Shawna. “It’s a battle for not only the child, but the parents and siblings as well.”

Along their journey, Drew’s family heard about Make-A-Wish through their social worker at St. Jude. As Drew’s treatment continued to progress, the idea of a wish became more and more real to the family.

“Drew had heard about waterslides on the beach after watching one of his favorite television shows on PBS Kids, and the idea really stuck with him,” Shawna said.

And just like that, a wish was born. Drew and his family embarked on a week-long vacation to Turks and Caicos, where they enjoyed playing on the beach, boogie boarding in the water, and taking trips down the waterslides.

There is nothing Drew loved more than the freedom of spending time in the water. His favorite activity was the waterslide. Once he got on, it was almost impossible to get him off! Drew was also able to play with kids his age for the first time in years, something he’d been unable to do with a weakened immune system.

“He loved every moment,” explained Shawna. “It gave him good memories to hold onto after battling leukemia for so long.”

The family was able to spend time together without the stress and worry that come with hospital visits and chemotherapy treatments.

“We were able to relax and just be a family again,” said Shawna. “It was the gold medal at the end of the race.”

Written by: Kara Miller

  • Drew and his family on a glass bottom boat

  • Drew's waterpark wish

  • Drew's waterpark wish

  • Drew's waterpark wish

It’s the most support I’ve ever felt. ”

— Shawna, Drew’s mom

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