When Garrett was 14, his family moved to a town 1,500 miles away from his family, friends, and school in Buffalo, New York. Three months later, Garrett became extremely ill. Doctors ran tests for a year before Garrett was diagnosed with bone cancer. The difficult ordeal of chemotherapy began and Garrett suffered hair loss, nausea, and missed a year of school. He lost 25 pounds and had to quit playing sports, which is his passion. Garrett longed to go back to Buffalo for a visit but with all the medical expenses, a trip just wasn’t possible.
When Kids Wish Network Wish Coordinator, Terri McConn, learned of Garrett’s wish, she quickly went to work. While Terri was doing her magic to make Garrett’s dream come true, the Anchor Bar in Buffalo sent a shipment of Buffalo wings to the 15-year old boy’s home. Getting the hot wings was a bright spot in an especially hard week of blood transfusions for Garrett.
Shortly after, Garrett, his parents and brother were “winging” their way to Buffalo for two weeks thanks to Kids Wish Network and American Airlines. The timing was perfect for Garrett’s trip. He not only got to celebrate his 16th birthday with loved ones, but also shared in the celebration for his grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary. In addition, Garrett got to visit his other grandparents, six aunts, six uncles, 15 cousins and a host of special friends. “It was great because all the family gathered together for his grandparent’s anniversary but we would have been the only group that couldn’t make it. Until you.” Garrett’s mother, Sandy, told Kids Wish Network.
While in Buffalo, the family enjoyed a night at the Buffalo Sabers hockey game where the jumbotron announced “Special Birthday Wishes to Garrett Krupski from the Buffalo Sabers”. Danny Gare, a former Saber player, and the team’s mascot presented Garrett with a Saber’s hat and shirt as well as other gifts. AVIS Rent A Car provided a mini van for the family to use for the entire trip.
Garrett’s comments about his trip pretty well summed it up. “Excellent! Spectacular! Greatest time of my life! I ate chicken wings or pizza every other day! It was great.” But he said the best part was “Honestly, just being with family and friends.”
Garrett also received an autographed football from Doug Flutie of the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Jills sent him an autographed calendar. In addition to American Airlines, AVIS, The Anchor Bar, The Buffalo Sabers, The Buffalo Jills, The Buffalo Bills, and Doug Flutie, Kids Wish Network’s deepest gratitude goes to Moose Lodge #584, the Buffalo Zoo, Just Pizza, Michael’s Restaurant, and Chef’s Restaurant.
Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized non-profit organization whose mission is to grant wishes to children who have life-threatening illnesses. If you know a child between the ages of 3 and 18 who may be in need of their wish granting services, please call (813) 891-9374 or toll free at (888)918-9004. You can also visit its web site at www.kidswishnetwork.org.