Wish kid Jason always has possessed a love for ancient history and mythology. It was no surprised that, when Jason was asked his one true wish, the possibility of traveling to Italy immediately came to his mind.
“I wished to travel to Italy to see all the beautiful monuments, churches and paintings,” said Jason. “And, I wanted to eat as much seafood as I possibly could.”
Getting a chance to walk the ruins and be a part of the history he had only seen in photos was an important part of Jason’s wish – he also wanted to make sure he had the experience before his illness progressed. Because, even though he was born with muscular dystrophy, Jason was not officially diagnosed with Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy Type 1 until 2013.
“It causes severe, progressive muscle deterioration and Jason will end up in a wheelchair, unable to do many things on his own,” said his mom, Nancy. “Unfortunately, Jason’s disease does not yet have a cure, but we will be there to support him 110 percent at all times.”
Despite his condition, Jason and his family were determined to take the trip to Italy together to focus on enjoying their time as a family.
According to Jason, the flight itself was just the beginning of his series of joyful memories.
“A big limo picked us up at my house,” said Jason. “Then, I was welcomed by my wish granters and taken to the airport gate, which was decorated just for me! They had red, white and blue ribbons from the ramp all the way down to the plane.”
Jason’s wish included many tours of the oldest and most iconic buildings in Rome. He was able to visit places like the Vatican and the Miguel Di Angelo Museum, and see famous statues of Julius Caesar and Neptune. With his extensive background in Roman history and mythology, Jason was so happy to see the old buildings and ruins that, growing up, he had learned so much about but had only seen in photos.
“I enjoyed the Gladiator Museum, Pompeii and the Colosseum most of all, which was within walking distance from our hotel!” he said.
Since his wish, Jason is now studying graphic design as a freshman at Paradise Valley Community College. He recalls his wish experience fondly and encourages other wish kids to enjoy every moment of their wish, whatever it may be.
“Having a wish granted is a great experience,” said Jason. “There were so many people who put this great trip together for me and I will always remember it, and I feel grateful for what Make-A-Wish Arizona did for me and my family.”