Team Trotman’s story began years ago in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where Allie Trotman was facing the life-long obstacles of sickle cell and autoimmune liver disease. The doctors referred the Trotman family to Make A Wish, and Allie’s dream of becoming a mermaid came true when she and her parents, Stephanie and Jason, were granted a trip to Disney World in 2016.
The next year, the Trotmans decided to participate in Walk for Wishes for the first time, but shortly before the Walk took place, Allie passed away. Despite this devastating heartbreak, Stephanie and Jason Trotman continued fundraising to honor the memory of their incredibly caring and endlessly determined daughter.
“The wish was so important for our family; I know it will be for others.” Stephanie said. “The difference with a Wish experience is that we didn’t have to worry about the details and were able to just enjoy spending time together. We want families to experience those Wishes together and create those memories.”
In 2017, Team Trotman raised over $6,000, and they’re right on track this year with an incredible $4,000 already put away. There are 11 people currently registered on the team, with a few more family members expected to join for the Walk itself.
When asked how they managed to get so much funding so quickly, Stephanie said: “Sharing a personal story leads people to give to the team and participate in the Walk. It’s more effective than any social media campaign.”
This certainly doesn’t mean you have to be a Wish family to drive a successful campaign. Even if it’s not an immediate family member or friend, you can still try putting a local face to your efforts. Reach out to local hospitals and other community members: odds are, someone will know a Wish kid in your area. As Stephanie said, successful fundraising depends on connecting to “not a kid in anywhere, USA, but a local kid, a kid in Delaware.”
The Trotman’s story shows the true power of a Wish experience. “The child is receiving the wish, but so is the rest of the family and the support system,” Stephanie said. Even though Allie may not be walking in person, her cherished memories and spirit have guided Team Trotman through their grief, giving them the determination to spread Make A Wish hope, joy and strength to all the many families in need.
We love hearing from our supporters, so please let us know if you have any questions or ideas you would like to share! We can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (215)-654-9355. We can’t wait to see you at Walk for Wishes 2018!