5-year-old Grand Forks Boy Gets His WishGRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - A 5-year-old Grand Forks boy is getting his wish of sailing on a "big boat" thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
By: Melanie Orlins, WDAZ
GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - A 5-year-old Grand Forks boy is getting his wish of sailing on a "big boat" thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Ryan Erickson was diagnosed with a rare malformation of the brain associated with epilepsy. In order to minimize those seizures, portions of his brain were removed.
Because of Ryan's condition he has a limited vocabulary, but he does enjoy talking about "big boats" as well as swimming in water.
And next week, Ryan's wish will come true, he'll be sailing to Cancun on a magical disney cruise.
In the fall of 2010, Rydell's Auto Center held a car show which made more than 49,000. All that money is being donated to the Make-A-Wish foundation to help kids like Ryan and to make sure their wishes are one to remember.
"The pilots will make the flight extra special for the kids, in fact I know that not many people are allowed in the cockpit of an airplane anymore but we often see pictures of kids in the cockpits of planes," said the North Dakota Chapter Make-A-Wish President, Sharon Mazaheri.
But what the foundation didn't know, is Ryan's dad is a Rydell employee-so the people who raised the money were helping one of their own.
"Just found out about 2 weeks ago that it was the last of the money Rydell's had donated to make a wish (its just neat) and we were getting to go on a trip because of Rydell's and it just happened that I worked here," said Ryan's parents, Julie and RJ Erickson.
"A lot of times those types of things will happen and we'll say oh my gosh, its truly the magic behind the make-a-wish foundation," said Mazaheri.
Some shed happy tears at the send-off party-knowing a fellow employee and his family can look forward to a much needed vacation.
"Extra special for the staff, the entire staff of Rydell to see a wish, and know that its one of their own," said Mazaheri.
Don't let him fool you, Ryan is excited for his cruise on the "big boat" but he might have been a little more interested in the cupcakes. Ryan's older siblings shared their excitement for the trip too.
"Yeah we get to ride in a limo, 'are you excited about that', oh yeah," said Ryan's siblings, Justin & Jadee.
And his parents are happy to get a week of relaxation, and a break from all those doctors appointments.
"We don't have to be running around to appointments and just being a family, we're going to put everything else aside for these days and just really say hey we made it through this and we're still doing well," said Julie and RJ.
It costs roughly $6,000 to grant one wish. All that money Rydell's raised in 2010 will definitely put some smiles on little ones faces.