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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.

— “It makes me a bit winded sometimes and I have to take a couple medications,” said Waldron.

Waldron is a senior at Plattsburgh High School and though he’s not sure where he wants to study photojournalism he is going to be prepared. Waldron said for anyone out there who is diagnosed with the disease they should “expect a lot of treatments but in the end it’s worth it because you’ll feel better.”

Many younger children choose a wish like going to Disney Land. Others wish to meet a celebrity or professional athlete and last year a young girl was sent to the Olympics in London. Elsinger said the Northeast chapter has also helped welcome wishers from other parts of the country who wanted to see snow for the first time.

Riley said Andrew’s choice was unique and especially fun for him to shop for.

“I was journalist and a photographer in the Ohio years ago so it was great to do the shopping here to set Andrew up for his potential career,” said Riley.

Riley said the Northeast chapter of Make-A-Wish grants at least 100 wishes during the year and covers from the outskirts of the Catskills to the Canadian Border.

“We grant 100 wishes but worldwide we can say a wish is granted every 40 minutes and at anytime there is someone living their wish either on a trip or meeting a celebrity they chose,” said Riley.

World Wish Day is celebrated each year in April, marking the anniversary more than 30 years in the making: in 1980, a 7-year-old boy received his heartfelt wish to be a police officer for a day. That one wish inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish and launched the wish granting movement that circles the globe today.

Riley said he has been in contact with the mother of the very first wish child and to this day she and her family remember the occasion with the same excitement they experienced 30 years ago.

For more information about Make-A-Wish contact Riley at 782-HOPE.

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