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Make-A-Wish gives a Plattsburgh teen tools to make a dream come true

Teen with cystic fibrosis receives photography equipment

18-year-old Andrew Waldron opens presents from Make-A-Wish during a gift ceremony at Melissa Penfield Park on April 29. He received top-of-the-line, professional photography equipment through Make-A-Wish on April 29 at Melissa Penfield Park.

18-year-old Andrew Waldron opens presents from Make-A-Wish during a gift ceremony at Melissa Penfield Park on April 29. He received top-of-the-line, professional photography equipment through Make-A-Wish on April 29 at Melissa Penfield Park. Photo by Katherine Clark.

— A local teen received the ultimate set of equipment to prepare him for his dream job as a photographer through the Make-A-Wish foundation.

Andrew Waldron’s wish for photography gear was granted on World Wish Day April 29. Make-A-Wish of Northeast New York gave Andrew, 18, professional-quality camera equipment for use in college next fall, where he will be studying photojournalism.

“He knew we were going to get him a camera but I don’t think he knew we would be getting him all the equipment a professional would have,” said Tim Riley, manager of communications for Make-A-Wish of Northeast New York.

Waldron said he was really excited after opening multiple boxes at a special “gift giving” ceremony at Melissa Penfield Park.

Waldron received a Nikon camera, books, multiple lenses and flashes to go with his new camera, a new camera bag and an opportunity to go with a local newspaper photographer for the day and see how they do their job.

“He had actually considered several wishes before choosing the photography gear,” Riley said.

The volunteer “Wish Givers” Renee Elsinger, Lisa LaPort and Kayla LaPort helped him pick between a trip to Japan or an open-ended flight to anywhere. “Wish Givers” work with kids and teenagers to find a heartfelt wish that will give the most joy for the recipient.

Riley said Waldron worked with the wish givers and came to the conclusion that what he really wanted was photography equipment.

“This is a creative wish that will help you get creative,” said Riley.

Waldron became involved with the program last year after he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract, and other areas of the body.

“I guess I’ve had it since birth but I was diagnosed three years ago,” said Waldron. “I had gotten an infection and started throwing up a lot of mucus and went to the doctors and that’s when they told me.”

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