A dream trip, with the ‘rock star’ treatment

Make-A-Wish Connecticut has worked for 30 years to grant the wishes of local kids, but none of it would be possible without the help of everyone within the community. As the need for wishes grows, so does the need for your continued generosity. With 70% of wishes involving air travel, the miles you donate will be extremely beneficial for the Wish Kids in your community. The HAN Network is proudly supporting Make-A-Wish Connecticut with the HAN Network Wishes in Flight Campaign. With a goal of 300,000 donated airline miles during April, you can help make travel wishes come true.

Eight-year-old Luca of Wilton wanted to go to Walt Disney World.

The biggest obstacle between Make-A-Wish Connecticut and granting that wish — and so many others — is getting to the destination.

The average cost of a wish in Connecticut is $10,000. And with 70% of wishes involving air travel, the unused airline miles you donate will be extremely beneficial for the Wish Kids in your community. The HAN Network is proudly supporting Make-A-Wish Connecticut with the HAN Network Wishes in Flight Campaign. With a goal of 300,000 donated airline miles, you can help make travel wishes come true.

From the moment Luca’s family departed from their home, their entire trip experience was made to be just as exciting as the time spent in the Disney theme parks. He and his family were picked up in a limousine and transported to the airport, where Luca’s flight with JetBlue was the ultimate aviation experience. He got a taste of all the amenities, from announcing his name over the loudspeaker to hanging out in the cockpit.

According to Luca’s mother, Michele, Luca was given the “rock star treatment.”

And the celebrity experience did not stop there. When Give Kids The World representatives met Luca and his family at the airport, they took care of everything. Give Kids The World is a special village and resort devoted to serving families with children battling life-threatening medical conditions during their visits to Orlando and the surrounding theme parks. Luca arrived at his villa and was able to relax and focus on the adventure he had been wishing for. He was even more pleasantly surprised with all the activities Give Kids The World offered him.

The “rock star” title Luca became accustomed to gave him self-assurance and allowed him to feel in control of his own life, something his illness has infringed upon. Though his return home ended the ice-cream breakfasts and visits from the gift fairy, the confidence Luca gained is enduring.

Tyler Bluestein of Wilton recalls his wish experience as if it was yesterday. It was just over a year ago that Tyler wished to attend the famous Blizzard Gaming Conference — BlizzCon — in California. An avid gamer, Tyler shared that he and his friends would see the conference televised each year, and always wondered what it would be like to attend. Tyler and his family learned about Make-A-Wish through the cystic fibrosis clinic. The idea of a wish was new and exciting to the Bluestein family, but for Tyler, it was important to wait until he was a bit older and to think about what he truly wanted. For Tyler, this was the decision of a lifetime. After thinking long and hard about what he wanted to do, he decided to fulfill his dream of witnessing the conference in person.

“It was a very big moment for our family when we found out Tyler’s wish was coming true,” recalled his mother, Christina. “The conference only took place once a year, and even though Tyler was willing to wait until the following year, Make-A-Wish arranged for him to go within one and a half months of choosing his wish. It was fast — we were shocked!”

Tyler and his family flew out to California for the conference, and were given the VIP treatment from the beginning. The Bluesteins were able to skip waiting lines into the opening ceremonies and select their seats, and they were even given private, exclusive visits with the Blizzard Gaming Company’s senior executives.

Tyler’s mom now volunteers for Make-A-Wish as a wish granter, working with local families going through what Tyler went through and helping to fulfill their wishes. For Tyler’s family, giving back to an organization that changed their lives was essential.

To help Make-A-Wish Connecticut continue its mission of bringing hope, strength, and joy to our local communities, donate your unused airline miles to help make wishes like Luca and Tyler’s come true this summer. There are more than 100 Connecticut kids just like Luca and Tyler who are waiting for their wishes to come true.

You can donate unused Delta or United miles directly to the HAN Network Wishes in Flight Campaign by visiting CT.WISH.ORG/HANNetwork, which will help Connecticut Wish Kids reach their dream destinations.

JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines also accept airline miles donations that support Make-A-Wish through their mile donation programs, which can be contributed through their individual websites.

Help the HAN Network make travel wishes come true. Help us Share The Power of a Wish.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Wish-come-true experiences can do wonders by providing a much-needed break from lengthy hospital stays and medical treatments. They give back to a child what a serious medical condition can take away — the chance to simply enjoy being a kid. Wish kids choose something that will inspire happiness and allow them to spend precious time with their families. The Connecticut chapter has made more than 2,500 wishes come true since its inception in 1986. Learn more about Connecticut wishes at ct.wish.org, or join Make-A-Wish on Facebook (search Make-A-Wish Connecticut) and follow it on Twitter and Instagram (@MakeAWishCT).