LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 2019): Malachi Long III likes to build stuff and tear things down. He also set his sights on working in construction when he grows up. Kids Wish Network, a children’s charity that grants wishes for kids with life-threatening illnesses, put on their hard hats and constructed a wish that Malachi would really dig!
Kids Wish Network flew Malachi and his family from Indiana to Las Vegas. It was time for recess, and this playground had equipment like no other. His wish was all child’s play at Dig This Las Vegas, a massive sandbox arena with all types of construction equipment for digging, tearing up, bulldozing and clawing in the dirt. After undergoing training, Malachi put on his hard hat and orange vest, and climbed into the cab of a mini excavator, where he dug right in to having fun. Malachi expertly operated the big claw, shoveling up scoops of dirt and transferring to a mound. “This is very exciting watching him do this,” said his mom Patricia. “He has nothing but a smile on his face.” Malachi also had fun playing dozer basketball. After succeeding in his job, Dig This Las Vegas awarded him a certificate of accomplishment and souvenir photo to remember his special day. Fox 5 and ABC 13 Action News came out to film Malachi in action.
Malachi has Crohn’s Disease, a chronic inflammatory condition of the digestive tract. Dealing with his illness has been difficult, and his dream coming true was a time when his family was able to just focus on his happiness. During the wish, he enjoyed a slice of paradise, staying at Tahiti Village, an island-inspired resort. The hotel surprised Malachi with many handmade construction-themed welcome signs and balloons in his room. His family also had memorable dining at BRIO Tuscan Grille and the Hard Rock Café.
“They (Kids Wish Network) did a great job with listening to what he wanted… and built this entire wish around him,” said his dad Malachi II. “We figured it would be something with LEGOs, and then they came up with this, and it really blew us away.”
“We’re proud that our Wish Coordinators get to know our Wish Kids so well, enabling us to create such meaningful wishes,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Tam Lai. “We’re thrilled to be able to create such a fabulous experience that was above Malachi’s wildest imagination.”
Kids Wish Network is a national charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children with life-threatening conditions and struggling with life-altering situations. KWN provides trip expenses, meals, accommodations and additional spending monies to all wish families whenever traveling as applicable. Visit www.kidswishnetwork.org to learn about our different programs, and find out how you can help make dreams come true and sponsor a wish for a deserving child.