Nearly twenty years ago, Tracie was diagnosed with Myxopapillary Ependymoma, which involved tumors on both her brain and spinal cord. Before her diagnosis, Tracie often dealt with pain in her knees and back, which made school activities and being active quite difficult. When Tracie received her diagnosis, she and her family immediately felt the impact of it. Tracie and her parents had to sell their business, downsize vehicles, and save money in order to drive to Sioux Falls for treatments and checkups.
While Tracie was going through treatment, she was in denial of her critical illness until her doctor referred her for a wish. Tracie had always enjoyed warm weather and new places, so her wish was to travel to Hawaii. While in Hawaii, Tracie went snorkeling, parasailing, surfing, and whale watching. "It was an all around wonderful time!" Tracie said.
After her trip, Tracie’s connection to Make-A-Wish was still very apparent through volunteering. When asked why she continued to be a part of Make-A-Wish and our mission, she said: “I was so fortunate to be granted a wish that I wanted to give back.” Additionally, Tracie said that she feels just as much a part of the Make-A-Wish family as she did when her wish was first granted.
Tracie is an exemplary model of how a wish not only impacts the life of a wish child but can enrich others as well. It is volunteers like Tracie who are helping more kids experience the impossible, giving them hope and helping them fight harder against their illness.