CORNWALL BRIDGE — Wishes really do come true, thanks to the Connecticut chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Three-year-old Colton Poley recently received a car-themed bedroom makeover of his dreams following the diagnosis of a rare form of cancer that necessitated the surgical removal of his right eye. From his hospital room at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, Colton could hear the cars whizzing by on the streets below, often distracting this car-crazy kid from his treatments.
“Colton’s mom, Ashton, reached out to us as she wanted to give him his own space where he could hang out,” explained Lisa Brown, program director at Make-A-Wish Connecticut. “Ashton knew that a car-themed bedroom was exactly what Colton would want.”
Children are eligible to make and be granted a wish beginning at two-and-a-half years old. “When children are young, we look to the parents for guidance as kids may not be able to articulate what it is they want at such a young age,” Brown said. “Parents know best what their kids are most passionate about and what will bring strength to their child to help them overcome tough times.”
Pulling together talent and resources donated by the local community, Colton’s car-themed bedroom soon became a reality. A local interior designer donated time to help coordinate the wish. “As Colton’s family is renting, we kept the bedroom makeover simple, but it was exactly what the family wanted for Colton.”
Drawing on Colton’s favorite color, blue, his room now sports car decals on the walls, a car bedspread, car lamps and several car toys to add to his collection. Colton’s initial reaction to his new bedroom was caught on video as he excitedly explored each car-themed element, exclaiming, “What is this?!”
“Colton absolutely loves his new room,” Brown said.
“As a 5013c non-profit organization, we rely heavily on community partners and locally donated resources to make these wishes happen,” said Carin Buckman, marketing, communications & digital manager for Make-A-Wish Connecticut. “We are not federally funded and rely solely on private donations.”
Though some wishes involving travel or group gatherings have been postponed due to Coronavirus, Make-A-Wish Connecticut is still granting wishes whenever possible. Currently, they have 200 wishes in the pipeline yet to be granted.
“Research shows that children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness,” said Buckman, noting that a majority of their wish kids are not terminally ill. “Hope is essential to these kids now more than ever.”
To view Colton’s bedroom reveal caught on video, visit www.facebook.com/MakeAWishCT/videos/299178707831685/
For more information about Make-A-Wish Connecticut or to donate, visit www.ct.wish.org/.