Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Wishes granted, dreams fulfilled

It’s a sad day when you find out your child has an illness that could quite possibly become terminal. It must be heart-breaking to a parent, and to the child themselves to not be able to grow up and have their dreams come true. Even if they beat the disease, they can develop certain defects due to all the medications they were given at such a young age.

Thankfully, there are foundations that reach out to help these children’s dreams come true. One foundation in particular, the Anything Can Be Project, has helped a 5-year-old boy fulfill his childhood dream.

J.P. Gibson was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 2 1/2 years old. Now, at the age of 5, the Anything Can Be Project allowed him to have his picture taken signing a 24-hour contract with the Utah Jazz. J.P. achieved his dream of playing for an NBA team.

Having Gibson on the court participating in pre-game warmups, a rookie dance-off, being able to score a basket in the game and taking pictures with his favorite players were great ways for his dreams to come true, despite his mother’s worries about his joint pain from chemotherapy. His family was so proud of him and happy to see their son’s dreams come true before their eyes.

Gibson also made a guest appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show with his parents. Ellen asked him a few questions and then had a surprise for him and his parents. Two of his favorite Utah Jazz players came out to play basketball with him as well as hand his parents $10,000 to use toward their medical bills. A gesture like this is so rare in society, making it emotionally overwhelming to watch.

The goal of the Anything Can Be Project is to raise awareness and hope for pediatric cancer patients like Gibson.

Jon Diaz, the man behind the camera at the game, thinks photography is a powerful way to raise awareness.

On the Anything Can Be website, there are wonderful portraits of children having their dreams come true. They are beautiful. You can donate to the foundation to help make another child’s dream come true.

Diaz has taken his love for photography and turned it into a fantastic way to help change the lives of pediatric cancer patients. He has taken his passion and turned it into something that is heart-wrenchingly wonderful. The children in his photographs are fairies, dancers, mermaids, athletes and many more beings. Children have a plethora of dreams to go with their colorful imaginations.

Wish-granting organizations such as ACB have even made a difference here at Plattsburgh State. Last February, 6-year-old Matthew Wood, who suffers from lymphoblastic leukemia, received VIP treatment at the men’s hockey game thanks to the Northeast New York chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Wood also wanted a PlayStation 4, which was given to him during the hockey game in front of all of its attendees. It was a small request, but it was enough for Wood. It was all he wanted.

Donating or volunteering for these organizations is extremely worthwhile and rewarding. And even for those who choose not to, reading about these stories make us feel good inside, for all we see on the news is coverage of negative events happening all over the world.

Whenever a person has the chance to donate to foundations such as Anything Can Be or Make-a-Wish, think about Gibson, Wood and all of the other children who suffer from cancer.

It’s just a dollar or whatever you are willing to give to help these children and their dreams come true. It’s a beautiful gift to give someone. And for these children, one gift is sometimes all they need.

Email Jennifer Greenberg at

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