Kicking off our 2013-2014 year
It has been a very big year for us here at Make-A-Wish® East Tennessee with our 1,000 Wish Celebration with Cooper getting his very own puppy, Oakley and as we celebrated our 25th Anniversary. We were simply reminded how very powerful and precious a wish is as we have heard more from Cooper's mom.
The 1,000 wish celebration happened in Chattanooga with lots of past friends, staff, board members and those currently involved with Make-A-Wish® East Tennessee but unfortunately our guest of honor, Cooper, was unable to be there due to his medical condition. We learned just a couple of weeks before the celebration that Cooper would not be able to make it back to Chattanooga in time and we all simply realized that is the nature of our jobs. We work with sick children and we were going to make it work. It was a wonderful celebration and the other guest of honor, Oakley, Cooper's new best friend and puppy was at the celebration to entertain everyone. Our very first wish kid, Joey, helped present Oakley to Cooper's family then the next day Lara, Make-A-Wish® East Tennessee, Director of Program Services and Bob, Make-A-Wish® East Tennessee President and CEO went to Pittsburgh to deliver Oakley to Cooper and his mom along with his grandfather. Cooper was very excited and after all the excitement was over, we received a call from his mom and she was absolutely stunned and absolutely ecstatic. Cooper has been quite non-verbal over the last year since he has been so sick and in the hospital virtually that entire time but his mom wanted us to know that Cooper had begun talking to Oakley. It is true that a dog truly can be man's best friend, he certainly has become Cooper's best friend.