Perrin’s fascination with ancient Greek history and mythology originated from the pages of his favorite books.
“When I was growing up, I used to go to the library and check out books about Mykonos and I’m also a big fan of the series Percy Jackson and the Olympians.” said Perrin. “I love the legends and stories about ancient Greece and learning about it has always been my favorite part of history.”
“One time Perrin actually wrote an essay about Greek myths for fun,” shared his dad, Jason. “It wasn’t for an assignment or school, but because he’s so interested in the topic.”
But stories of challenging trials and personal quests weren’t only limited to the people in Perrin’s readings. After an alarming medical scare, Perrin had to channel his inner strength and fight like the heroes in his favorite stories.
“Perrin contracted a virus that attacked his liver, and he went from being a typical child to being in the hospital, dealing with a life-threatening diagnosis,” said Jason. “We went to the hospital because he was having painful stomach cramps, and then he was marked for 1A status for a liver transplant.”
Time was of the essence and Perrin’s family struggled to process everything as his health declined at a rapid rate.
“His skin turned completely yellow and if we had to wait a few more days he might not have survived,” said Jason, who received the call that doctors had a liver for Perrin. “It was a roller coaster for all of us and we were so relieved when we found out Perrin was going to be okay.”
After a successful liver transplant, Perrin was recovering in the hospital when his social worker, Jenifer Espinoza, mentioned Make-A-Wish Arizona.
“We didn’t think much of it at first because we felt like we would be taking a wish away from another child, but Jenifer helped us understand that Perrin deserved a wish after everything he had been through and soon, Perrin started to see that too,” Jason said.
“It’s been a lifelong wish of mine to see the Greek historical sites in real life,” said Perrin. “Plus, my family loves cruising so I thought a cruise through the Mediterranean would be a great way to see everything!”
Perrin and his family couldn’t wait to embark on this exciting adventure. Together, they planned the activities they hoped to do at their destinations.
“This trip was different than other cruises because everyone was so nice and treated me so special. We had the chance to meet the captain, have a tour of the ship, and I loved the going to the shows and a fun murder mystery-themed dinner!” said Perrin, who traveled with his mom, dad and brother, Bryce.
Stops along their voyage included destinations like Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Cape Sounion.
“The ruins were incredible at the ancient cities and the water was so beautiful. It was so cool to finally be there!” said Perrin. “We went to museums with tons of sculptures and pottery and saw the Island of the Gods, ancient Elis, the Tempe of Poseidon and the Parthenon!”
“I knew a lot about the places we went already, but nothing compared to seeing it in person,” said Perrin. “The columns of Olympia were massive. Everything was way bigger than I had ever imagined – it was amazing!”
While the big spectacles and landmarks were a highlight of their trip, Perrin’s dad shared it was the little things that impacted him most.
“Coming from where we started, the one thing that meant the most was actually watching Perrin climb the rock wall on the ship,” said Jason. “Perrin couldn’t even take a step when he was in the hospital and seeing how far he has come since then is so powerful.”
Today Perrin is doing well and he is taking his knowledge of Greek history and mythology into his freshman year of high school.
“I’m hoping I can get my school involved so we have the chance to give back to this organization, because my wish has meant so much to me,” Perrin said.