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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Make-A-Wish Surprises Student with Dream Trip

If you ask 16-year-old Andrew Creel the one place in the world he’d like to visit, he’ll tell you with certainty that it’s London.

The Mansfield High School sophomore is intrigued with the castles, towers and other historic landmarks.

He never knew if he’d be able to make the trip across the pond, though, because traveling has become much harder.

“Andrew was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy when he was 2,” explained Shana Creel, Andrew’s mother. “So over time, he loses his strength and ability to get around.”

Andrew (seated) posed with his parents and said
he can't wait to tour the Tower of London.
With the help of Make-A-Wish Foundation, Andrew’s dream was about to come true. The organization, which grants wishes to children with critical illnesses, coordinated with school officials and Andrew’s parents to hold a special surprise on campus.

When Andrew heard the news that he and his family would be leaving for London on Saturday, his eyes lit up in disbelief.

“Our hearts were in our throats just trying to keep it together without bawling—just to see how happy it has made him,” the mom described.

Make-A-Wish coordinators said these types of surprises make their job worthwhile, and making dreams come true is not just about magical moments.

“The wishes themselves are medically necessary,” said Make-A-Wish volunteer Dennis Baird. “The kids are responding to treatment better, the families are also responding and communities come together. We like to say that wishes aren’t just nice; they’re necessary.”

For the Creel family, it’s a trip they will cherish for the rest of their lives.

“This will more than likely be the last international trip that Andrew will be able to take,” said James Creel, Andrew’s dad, as he fought back tears. “It’ll be really special for us, and we thank Make-A-Wish for making this happen.”

The Make-A-Wish Foundation was founded in 1980. To date, more than 285,000 children in the United States and its territories have gotten their wish granted by the organization.