“Mama, I can’t believe they’re making my wish come true!”
When Maris was born, his family was thankful that he was considered healthy. However, the next day he seemed lethargic and had little appetite. Maris’ weight loss was a big concern, so he underwent testing. The testing revealed that Maris had congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). This is a group of inherited genetic disorders that affects the adrenal glands.
Now at the age of 5, Maris is inquisitive, spirited, affectionate and joyful. He is fascinated with transportation and enjoys playing with planes, cars and trains for hours. With Maris’ adventurous spirit, he dreamed about visiting Boston and going to Thomas Land. Kids Wish Network coordinated a personalized Boston wish, and kind sponsors were “all aboard” to make his dream come true. Maris’ wish coordinator surprised him on Facetime, and revealed his special wish during a celebratory dinner with his mom, dad and grandma at the festive Ogden Chicago. Kids Wish Network also sent a gift package that he opened at the restaurant, containing balloons and an adorable pirate themed rolling suitcase kindly gifted by Zuca. Maris was so excited and kept telling everyone that he was going to Boston to see Thomas and the Island of Sodor. All night he kept saying, “Mama, I can’t believe they’re making my wish come true!”
Maris and his mom traveled by plane to Boston, the Cradle of Liberty, courtesy of Kids Wish Network. They checked in to the beautiful and historic Loews Boston Hotel who had a huge box of toys and treats, as well as Old Town Trolley tickets awaiting their arrival. “I can’t begin to tell you about his excitement,” said Maris’ mom Michele. “The hotel had all of his favorite things in the box…treats that he loves and toys that he really wanted.”
The next day, Maris and his mom were chauffeured by Sunset Limousine to Edaville Family Theme Park, home to Thomas Land.Maris had an amazing time visiting with Thomas & Friends and riding all the rides. After his Thomas Land adventure, Maris and his mom enjoyed fine dining at the warm and hospitable The Palm Boston. It was the perfect dinner to end such a memorable day.
After a good night’s sleep, Maris and his mom journeyed to the New England Aquarium. The aquarium staff went out of their way for Maris, gifting him photos, assorted presents including a prized shark tooth, a plush shark toy and wonderful lunch. A memorable surprise came when Maris received an unexpected kiss from Ursula – one of the aquarium’s seals. “The aquarium experience was one of the most magical I have ever been a part of,” said Maris’ mom. “Maris was the last kid to leave the aquarium…he squeezed in every last second of play.”
More surprises awaited Maris and his mom, dining at the historical Union Oyster House. The manager reserved booth 18, the booth where President John F. Kennedy specifically liked to dine. Ironically, Maris’ mom said that JFK had Addison’s disease, a condition akin to the CAH that Maris has. Both are adrenal insufficiency conditions. Maris’ mom was touched by the kindness and generosity of everyone at Union Oyster House.
“With every step along the way I have been truly amazed by every nuance and all the generosity… and then the next moment there were even more!” said Maris’ mom. “It’s wonderful when you get blessed with an experience of a trip being granted, and you’re so excited for the trip and the event you wished for. But it’s also amazing how all the things you weren’t expecting impact you in such a larger way.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following sponsors for making Maris’ dreams become a reality:
• Loews Boston Hotel
• Edaville Family Theme Park
• New England Aquarium
• The Palm Boston
• Union Oyster House
• Sunset Limousine
• The Ogden Chicago