21-year-old Evan is a senior at Bloomsburg University majoring in Anthropology. Once he graduates in the spring of 2020, he is hoping to become an archeologist. Evan is also a childhood cancer survivor and a former wish kid. Make-A-Wish® Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley granted his wish to go to Walt Disney World® Resort nearly 20 years ago, a wish that he still reflects on as a turning point in his journey.
Evan had just turned 3-years-old when he traveled on his wish trip to Orlando. After going through the unthinkable in battling cancer at such a young age, Evan’s wish experience allowed him to truly be a kid. He loved riding on the rides at the theme parks, especially It’s A Small World and Dumbo. Evan’s favorite part of his wish trip was meeting his favorite characters from Winnie the Pooh and Toy Story.
“The Make-A-Wish trip gave Evan so much happiness after a year of surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, doctor’s appointments, scans and procedures. It made him forget about all the bad experiences he had to endure most of his young life,” shared Evan’s mother, Rhonda.
While Evan still has medical issues today that he will need to deal with for the rest of his life, his wish experience helped him to make the most of what he has and what he has accomplished. Evan felt so special throughout his wish trip and according to his mother, was “treated like a king”. Evan’s wish gave him renewed energy and strength, bringing his family closer together.
Evan’s mother explained, “Make-A-Wish is an amazing organization. We were treated like royalty. These were memories that will last a lifetime.” When Evan’s wish was granted, he was able to replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope. It gave him the physical and emotional strength needed to fight his illness, therefore improving his quality of life. “We are very proud of the man he has become and admire his strength,” Rhonda shared.
For many of our wish children, the true wish is to live a long and healthy life. We are excited to share Evan’s wish story and we too are proud of his journey. We can’t wait to hear all that he has accomplished when we check in with him again in another 20 years!