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My Life Now: 30 years after my wish

  • Then: Dawn & Family

  • Now

“ That's what this organization does. It brings happiness to not so happy times. ”


- Dawn

At only 12 years old, Dawn was diagnosed with cancer. While traveling for chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Dawn had been spending months away from her family. For her wish, she chose a wish trip that would allow her family to spend time together away from doctor visits and treatments. "My wish impacted my diagnosis in knowing it was part of my wish to be finished and done with all of my treatment, that I had made it, I had won the fight. This was my victory lap!"

When Dawn was 14 years old, she was finished with treatments, and feeling like herself again! Dawn soon learned her travel wish to go to Hawaii was coming true! "I remember feeling very excited! I remember thinking of how happy I was that my family and I were going to be able to spend this special time together.  Make-A-Wish made it possible for my brother, who recently entered the Air Force, and was stationed in Guam, to be with us."

While in Hawaii, Dawn's favorite memories were: having fun with family, swimming with dolphins, golfing on the Wai'alae golf course, riding in a helicopter over the Big Island, and deep sea fishing! From being picked up in a limo, all the way to the welcome home, Dawn and her family felt like royalty! 

Today, Dawn lives in Rapid City. She is a registered nurse and works part-time on The Wound Care Team for Regional Health. Her decision to be a nurse is credited to all the wonderful care she received while she was going through her cancer treatments. "I love being able to share my story with patients who are cancer survivors, or who are currently going through treatment.  To be able to give someone that spark, that injection of HOPE is what being a nurse is all about." Dawn, and her husband, Jim, have two daughters, Moriah (21) and Kiana (14). Moriah is currently studying to become a nurse herself! Dawn and her family enjoy being outdoors, camping, fishing, and hiking. When she is not with family, Dawn loves being with friends, antiquing, crafting and spending time with her dog, Mylee. 

Dawn recently became a Make-A-Wish® South Dakota volunteer! She hopes to give back to wish kids, their families, and the organization what was given to her and her family: an experience that provides everlasting heartfelt memories that touch the soul for years to come!



I can not say enough wonderful things about the Make-A-Wish Organization. When I see the name it makes me smile. That's what this organization does. It brings happiness to not so happy times. If you want to be a part of something life changing, become a volunteer. My journey has just begun as a volunteer but the memories of being a wish kid will be with me for my lifetime! Thank you Make-A-Wish! ”

— Dawn

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Make-A-Wish® South Dakota
1400 West 17th Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
(605) 335-8000
Toll Free (800) 640-9198
Make-A-Wish® South Dakota, Black Hills Office
14 Saint Joseph St. Suite 302
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 791-4500
Toll Free (800) 640-9198