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My Life Now: Paul's wish leads to life of giving back

  • Now: Paul with his family

  • Then: Paul on his wish trip to the Master's Golf Tournament

  • Paul at wish kid James' wish announcement party

  • Paul greeting wish kid Reese and family back at the airport from her wish trip

“ Being able to volunteer for an organization that gave you so much is truly an honor. ”


- Paul

Seventeen years ago, sixteen year old Paul was diagnosed with lymphoma of the brain, a tumor on his optic nerve and pituitary gland. After being referred to Make-A-Wish® South Dakota in 2002, Paul’s wish was one that his whole family could look forward to.

With two months left of his treatments, Paul found his wish to attend the 2002 Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia was coming true! “The wish brought us closer together during a hard time for all of us.  It opened our eyes to this great organization and what it does for kids fighting diseases.  It also made us think what else we could be doing to support our community in the form of volunteering.”

Paul’s favorite memories include: being on the grounds at Augusta National, walking the course, and spending time with my family.  “It was an amazing feeling being part of a historic tournament, with so much history and excitement.” Paul and his family were welcomed to the course and able to stay nearby. Paul remembers the generosity of a local homeowner, who opened their home for Paul and his family to stay for the entire week! 

For Paul, his wish was something that he will never forget. Every year when the Masters is on, he relives so many great memories from his great wish! 

Fast forwarding 17 years, Paul is married to his wife, Carly.  Together they have a one year old daughter, Cora.  He currently lives in Sioux Falls and works at Great Western Bank. In his free time, Paul enjoys golfing, woodworking, grilling, and spending time with Cora & Carly.  Both Paul and Carly give back by being Make-A-Wish volunteers and help with a variety of opportunities including being a wish granter.  

“Being able to volunteer for an organization that gave you so much is truly an honor.  Being able to be part of a child’s wish is very special, especially since you can relate to what they are going through. I highly recommend volunteering for Make-A-Wish because of what it will do to your perspective on life, as well as being part of something bigger and impacting lives in our community.”

Being able to be part of a child’s wish is very special, especially since you can relate to what they are going through. ”

— Paul

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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