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Strumming Toward a Bright Future

  • During the COVID pandemic, Deonna has been playing her guitar every day.

  • Deonna encourages kids waiting for their wishes to not lose hope that their wish will be granted one day.

  • Through the many radiation and chemo treatments to come, Deonna continued to hold on to the hope of her wish.

  • Deonna is taking the steps to become a music producer one day.

  • Deonna wished for the guitar because she knew it would help her to live her life after cancer and help her accomplish her dreams.

  • Deonna says every time she sees the guitar, a sense of pride wells up in her.

“ It’s a reminder of what I've been through. Every time I see it I feel proud of myself for being strong... ”


- Deonna

Most every wish kid knows the power of hope. They’re a testament to hope bringing each of us through our own darkness and finding connection. For 12-year-old wish kid Deonna, that hope and connection came in the form of her wish for a blue electric guitar.

Deonna’s wish journey began back in 2018, when Doctors diagnosed her with a brain tumor. She was just 10-years-old. “I felt scared when the doctor came into the room with that news. I was just hoping I was going to make it through,” said Deonna.

She started her radiation and chemo immediately. After about her third radiation treatment, she started to lose her hair. And the chemo drugs were making her really sick. It was then that she heard she could have a wish from Make-A-Wish Mid-South.

“I just thought I can have whatever I want. I knew it would help me to live my life after cancer and help me accomplish my dreams,” Deonna said.

Through the many radiation and chemo treatments to come, Deonna continued to hold on to the hope of her wish. She knew she wanted to ask for an electric guitar. “I’ve always experienced life through music. I know it’s what I want to do when I grow up. Something about it just makes me happy inside.”

She already had a keyboard at home and loved composing her music and creating music videos. “I knew this was all worth it,” said Deonna. “Because I would be able to do what I love and make music with my guitar.”

Then, the pandemic of COVID-19 hit. Deonna’s school was cancelled, friends had to stay away and she was confined to her home to be sure she wouldn’t come in contact with the virus. But Make-A-Wish Volunteers were able to drop the guitar and gifts on the porch of her home. She’s been playing it every day since.

“Without my wish, I would be bored and just spending time alone in my house. But with my new electric guitar, I am able to practice playing it and get better at making music. I know that my wish for this guitar is a steppingstone to something greater- toward what I want in the future.”

Deonna says every time she sees the guitar, a sense of pride wells up in her. “It’s a reminder of what I have been through and how I made it through. Every time I see it I feel proud of myself for being strong and making it through cancer, and now through this pandemic.”

“Because of my wish, in quarantine, I have something to do and something to entertain myself with. I want to get better at playing the guitar so I can be a music producer when I grow up,” she said. “I listen to a lot of music and it just helps grow my passion for what I want to do with my future career.”

And her message for other wish kids whose wishes are on hold because of the global pandemic? “All you have to do is hope and pray. Your wish will come true one day.”

Perhaps we can all borrow the hope she’s so willing to lend to others.
I know that my wish for this guitar is a steppingstone to something greater- toward what I want in the future. ”

— Deonna

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