CJ was diagnosed with leukemia when he was two years old. While receiving treatment at the Oncology Clinic at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Make-A-Wish Arizona approached him and asked if he had a wish. His answer, “YES!”
His mother would show him pictures and tell stories of going clam digging while growing up in Maine. So when Make-A-Wish Arizona approached him about his wish there was one clear answer, to go clam digging in Maine like mom did!
“What little boy doesn’t love the idea of digging in the mud for hidden treasures!” Terri Goode, CJ’s mother, said.
Just a few months later, in the middle of his three-year treatment course, CJ and his family found themselves yards away from the Maine coast on Old Orchard Beach. His wish allowed him to meet many of the friends and family his mom knew from her days in Maine.
“Everyone finally was able to meet this beautiful, loving little boy who they had been praying would beat the leukemia,” Terri said.
On his way to the clam flats, CJ rode in a police car, complete with lights and sirens. He was also able to play on the beach, where they had s’mores. When they went to the beach they saw a huge sand castle built in CJ’s honor.
The wish experience didn’t end there! They also visited a lobster pound and CJ ate lobster for the first time, and loved it! His uncle took him to play mini-golf and went to an amusement park in Saco. To complete his wish, his family went to Santa’s Village in New Hampshire.
“Everywhere we went, the people were so hospitable, they took care of our family in every possible way,” Terri said. “Everyone went to great lengths to ensure CJ had a trip he would remember for a lifetime.”
After returning to Arizona, CJ had a year and a half of treatment left. A huge party was thrown when his treatment ended. CJ would wear his Wish Kid shirt proudly even years after his wish and loves getting stopped by people asking about his wish.
“CJ is starting college this year and we are so thankful for all of the opportunities we’ve had to spend time as a family, top among them is his 3-year-old wish of going clam digging,” Terri said.