As described by those who know him, 9-year-old Javier always thinks of others first. This is why his wish did not surprise anyone. After going through all of the endless possibilities of what Javier could choose to be his wish, he kept coming back to one wish—a pizza party with his entire school.
After being diagnosed with leukemia, appointments and treatment claimed many of Javier’s school days. During this time, the one thing Javier missed the most about school was all of the lost time he could have been spending with his friends and classmates. This was the main reason he decided on his pizza party wish. He just wanted to spend an afternoon with his friends, catching up on lost time. He also wanted to make sure that his favorite food—pizza—was the main course at his party!
On the day of Javier’s wish, the final bell of the school day rang, and all of Javier’s classmates filed out onto the playground. Creating a human tunnel, the students and faculty of McKinley Elementary anxiously awaited Javier’s arrival. The sound of police sirens, which came from Javier’s police escort, only added to the excitement, and when Javier stepped out of the police car, the students began chanting his name. Everyone in attendance made sure that Javier was the star of the show.
Pizza and root beer floats were just the start of the fun that added to Javier’s pizza party. Carnival games, a mini zoo, laser tag, and inflatables were all part of the entertainment as well. Javier’s face lit up as he chased his friends around with a laser tag gun, and his laughter was non-stop as he worked his way through the inflatable obstacle course. As his mom, Tracy, watched Javier play, she shared, “This is Javier’s Disney World.”
At the end of the afternoon, Javier’s police escort arrived back at the school. The pizza party was coming to an end, and when asked how he would rate his pizza party on a scale of one to ten, Javier had no hesitation in his response—“Ten!” After Javier climbed back into the police car, his voice rang out from the police car’s speakers: “Thank you, everyone, for coming!”
Thank you so much to the faculty and staff at McKinley Elementary and Make-A-Wish volunteers for helping pull off the pizza party of Javier’s dreams. We’d also like to give a very special thank you to Dacotah Bank in Watertown for adopting Javier’s wish and making this special day possible.
We thank the following businesses for all their help in granting Javier’s wish: Pizza Ranch in Watertown, Thunder Road in Sioux Falls, Bob’s Inflatables, Watertown Police Department, Top Tier Transportation, Inc., Bramble Park Zoo, Applebee’s in Watertown, and Coca-Cola.
Photo Credits: Marlee Hayes