Family road trips are a rite of passage for many: car games, gas station snacks and an ongoing “are we there yet” chorus from the back seat. But for 11 years, traveling anywhere has been nearly impossible for Ethan – until his one true wish was granted.
“My medical equipment was always an issue,” said Ethan, who was diagnosed with life-threatening cystic fibrosis at 10 months old. “I always wanted to be able to go on trips with my family, but it just wasn’t possible to bring everything in our car.”
That’s when Make-A-Wish Arizona stepped in to grant Ethan’s greatest wish - a new trailer for his family - so they could finally have the capacity to store necessary medical equipment and embark on fun and unforgettable vacations together.
“This wish means freedom for our family,” said Ethan’s mom, Melissa. “My younger son also has cystic fibrosis, and it would break my heart to have to say no whenever my kids wanted to travel. Now we have the opportunity to go every place we’ve always wanted and that is an amazing feeling.”
The moment Ethan saw his new trailer, he was speechless.
“His jaw completely dropped because he was so surprised and excited!” said Melissa. “The look on his face was priceless.”
The brand new trailer has special features to accommodate Ethan’s condition, including a stove, extra outlets for medical equipment and custom, larger bunk beds for Ethan and his brother.
“It’s a huge upgrade from our cramped, four-door car,” said Melissa. “We used to be limited in everything we did and now it is much easier and safer to travel as a family.”
Ethan, who hasn’t been able to travel much since he was 5 years old, is thrilled he can finally visit Yellowstone National Park.
“It’s a place I’ve always wanted to go and I’m really excited!” said Ethan. “I can’t wait to see Old Faithful!”
As Ethan’s cystic fibrosis has progressed over the years, he requires more frequent maintenance and treatments. His family is looking forward to plenty of exciting trips to keep Ethan motivated during these procedures and enjoy some well-deserved vacations doing what he loves.
“My sons love the outdoors and going on adventures, so this will be perfect for us to get away and spend quality time together!” said Melissa. “There are so many fun memories ahead.”
The family plans to go camping the first week of August and Ethan has already created a wish list of places he wants to go in his new trailer, including Kartchner Caverns, Antelope Creek and the Grand Canyon.
“We hope to go somewhere new every six weeks,” said Melissa. “We have family in Utah and Montana so we definitely would like to plan longer trips to places outside of Arizona as well. The options are endless for us now!”