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Community invited to join CCSD 89 in supporting Make-A-Wish with donations March 18-22

After months of chemotherapy, Jaysen Cook-Bey was ready to give up. He was tired. His bones hurt. He was sick of needles.

On the day he was supposed to start fourth grade, the Park View student instead learned he had medulloblastoma - a cancerous tumor in his brain. Weeks of radiation and chemotherapy followed; Jaysen, 9, was exhausted. He told his mother Sonia Gutierrez that he had lived a wonderful nine years and that was enough.

Gutierrez reminded Jaysen that he had been granted a Make-A-Wish trip to Hawaii. Jaysen wanted to travel with his family to celebrate the end of his treatment.

“It just completely gave him something to look forward to,” Gutierrez said. “I said: you have to get better because we’re going on this trip.”

You can see a video about Jaysen’s experience, and how the trip affected him, here: https://youtu.be/Ql0ipmwAp9Q

Community Consolidated School District 89 will again be supporting Make-A-Wish families like Jaysen’s by allowing staff to buy a $20 “jeans pass” for the week of March 18-22. Community members can also support Make-A-Wish now by donating at: http://site.wish.org/goto/CCSD89

The “Wishmakers at Work” program supports children with life-threatening medical conditions. Thanks to support from volunteers and corporate partners, children can have their wishes granted for free. Last year, the district raised $5,185 through more than 160 donations. The district has once again set a goal to raise at least $5,000.

Jaysen completed his treatment and is currently cancer free. Gutierrez said the Make-A-Wish trip gave him the strength to keep going. Jaysen, his mother, his sister, and his aunts traveled to Hawaii in December 2018.

“For my son, it was something to look forward to,” she said. “It gives kids hope that there’s so many things in the world they can still go see.”

Other CCSD 89 families who were supported by Make-A-Wish have shared their stories in past years. The students include:

  • Tony Anderson, a sixth-grade student at Glen Crest Middle School. Tony has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, an incurable muscle-wasting disease. Tony and his family received a Make-A-Wish trip to Florida, where Tony was able to swim with dolphins. See Tony’s story: https://youtu.be/yhs4tJ9e358
  • Glen Crest student Chloe Gelber. Chloe was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012, when she was 4 years old. She spent the next three years in treatment. See Chloe’s story: https://youtu.be/EHPDztzJF1E
  • Briar Glen student Drew Ames. Drew was diagnosed with leukemia when he was three. See Drew’s story: https://youtu.be/AohmHxzamAI
  • Arbor View student Dylan Full. Dylan was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor when he was five. See Dylan’s story: https://youtu.be/cNcV9WCEy70

Make-A-Wish is the world’s largest wish-granting organization. For more than 30 years, Make-A-Wish has been granting unique wishes that change lives for children and their families. The organization has granted more than 315,000 wishes since 1980.

Wishes are made possible through the 25,000 Make-A-Wish volunteers who support local chapters across the country. Learn more about Make-A-Wish at http://wish.org/

This year’s fundraising campaign was organized by CCSD 89 District Nurse Sandy Lawinger.