On a daily basis, wish teen David and his family overcome numerous challenges. David, 16, has a cardiac condition, autism, cerebral palsy, scoliosis, cleft pallet and receives his daily nutrition through a feeding tube. Communicating with David is done through sign language, gestures and expressions.
David’s family asked him if he wanted to meet Rachel Coleman, the individual who has played a major impact on David’s ability to communicate through sign language. David’s father, Daren, shared that David responded by signing ‘yes’ with two hands. David’s wish was to meet Rachel Coleman, the creator of Signing Time!, a DVD series that teaches kids sign language.
On June 1st, 2016, David flew on an airplane for the first time to Salt Lake City, Utah to meet Rachel Coleman. On the course of his trip, he met Rachel Coleman, starred in Signing Time!, had dinner at Rachel’s house, and went to Boondocks Fun Center and Living Planet Aquarium.
“We got to celebrate being a family with David, just as a kid. And that was incredibly healing”, said David’s mother, Bonnie. His family saw him smile and light up like he has never done before. David’s brother Michael said, “We all got be there for the happiest I have ever seen him. I have never seen him so overly over joyed. I never thought I would use that term for David. And I got to see him (just), brilliantly beaming!”
“Life does go on after you get hit with something like this.” David’s mother Bonnie said. “It gives you the strength to build your family again. And it gives you the joy of memories nothing will ever take away from you. That’s what Make-A-Wish does.”
David’s wish was made possible by Adopt-A-Wish® Partner Chi Omega at South Dakota State University. A very special thank you to Rachel Coleman and Make-A- Wish® Utah.