“I had heard of the condition but had no clue what it meant to have a child with that condition or how he got the condition,” said Jen. “I spent the first few years of his life doing a lot of research and speaking to a lot of doctors.”
Soon, it became apparent that she would be looking for control, not a cure as there was no cure for Josh’s life-threatening lung and digestive system diagnosis.
“We were constantly vigilant about everything,” said Jen. Even with the care they took, Josh was treated for several lung infections, and countless medical issues. He was missing a lot of school and was feeling a little disheartened. That’s when it was suggested Josh apply for a wish.
“When his doctors recommended Josh for a wish, I honestly was a little scared,” said Jen. “What did it mean for his future that he qualified for a wish? Then, we started asking around and realized many kids with his condition had been on or received wishes and had amazing experiences.”
Josh still wasn’t sure about Make-A-Wish. For a while, he didn’t want to be involved because he didn’t want any special attention due to his critical illness. But, once he realized Make-A-Wish was fun, he was excited to take part.
His wish – to go on a Hawaiian cruise — was a little bit of a surprise.
“He’s not the kind of kid to ask for a lot, so I didn’t know what he’d pick. I didn’t even know he wanted to go on a cruise, but he had a friend who told him about a cruise he went on and how great it was. Josh has a big appetite, so he was excited about all the free food,” Jen said with a laugh.
For Josh’s wish, the family traveled to the Big Island, Maui, Oahu, and Kona Island. They enjoyed ziplining through the forest and seeing the sites, but by far Josh’s favorite part was seeing a group of dolphins while snorkeling.
“I was really grateful that after all his hard work to just stay healthy, he would get such a fun reward. Wishes give joyful memories back to families, and I’m so grateful for ours,” said Jen. “We would never have been able to create a trip like Josh’s wish by ourselves and hanging out in the room together and bonding helped us become closer as a family."
"It was fun to see Josh so excited and find joy doing so many of the things he loves," she continued. "This experience helped reinforce the principle we have tried to live by. CF is forever a part of Josh's life, but it's not his most defining feature."