“PJ-Fox’s wish renewed our faith in people”
At 9 months old, PJ-Fox was diagnosed with sickle cell disease, a hereditary blood disorder characterized by abnormal red blood cells assuming a rigid, sickle shape causing the flow of blood and oxygen to become blocked in the body. PJ-Fox received his first blood transfusion at 1 ½ years old when his hemoglobin reached a dangerous low. His white blood cells were infected and his bone marrow was no longer producing red blood cells.
PJ-Fox also suffers from asthma, was fitted for orthopedic leg braces at 2, and was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis, a food allergy-associated disease that causes severe pain and inflammation in the esophagus and prevents him from eating almost every food.
As a result of all his conditions, PJ-Fox makes regular visits to test his hemoglobin, requires hydroxyurea medication, continues with physical, speech, occupational and playtime therapy, and requires an extremely strict diet for all his nutritional needs. He also endures itchy and painful flare-ups of the skin with skin blisters, bumps, lesions and swelling around his face and eyes.
At the end of March 2014, PJ-Fox’s bone marrow shut down once again, and he had to have a second blood transfusion. In the hospital, he assured his mom it would be okay.
“Mommy,” PJ-Fox said. “I’m a fighter, I’ll be okay.”
Despite all his treatments and restrictions, PJ-Fox is an extremely happy child with a contagious laugh and a smile that lights up the room. One of the few foods he can eat is jelly beans but he thinks they fall from the sky, so Kids Wish Network sent PJ-Fox to where jelly beans really come from: The Jelly Belly Factory.
“By granting PJ-Fox’s wish, you not only brighten our day and our spirits, but you renewed our faith that there are people who really care about special needs children and the parents that dedicate their lives ensuring a better present and future for them, recalls PJ-Fox’s mom Binta, “This wish will never be forgotten.”
Thank you to all the Wish Sponsors who helped make PJ-Fox’s dream come true: Courtyard by Marriott Fairfield Napa Valley, The Jelly Belly Factory, Western Railway Museum, City of Fairfield Fire Department, Red Robin and Monsoon Burger.
Illness: Sickle Cell disease
Wish: Jelly Belly Factory
Wish Category: Travel