FAIR OAKS, Calif. (KTXL) — For kids who are sick, the Make-A-Wish Foundation is a ray of light.
But due to the spread of COVID-19, hundreds of wishes are on hold. So, the nonprofit is calling on the community to help lift spirits while doing its best to grant wishes that can still happen amid stay-at-home orders.
In a quiet Fair Oaks neighborhood Tuesday, deputies helped the foundation deliver a wish for 16-year-old Cassie Sable in the form of a camper that she can call all her own.
“I have a lot of siblings, so it’s kind of overwhelming sometimes,” Cassie told FOX40. “So, I just wanted my own space to get away.”
Her smiles were a welcome change from how she has been feeling this last year.
“I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year and they haven’t found any treatments that my body has been responding to. So, it’s tough sometimes,” she explained.
Her mother, Kimberly Gaea, was forced to pull the teen out of school while she went through radiation and surgeries.
“It spread to her lungs, so we know that she’ll have it forever,” Gaea said. “She’s the strongest person I know though. She’s fought through all of this and I have no doubt that she’s going to fight until the end.”
Cassie’s new camper is social distancing approved. In fact, it might actually help her follow stay-at-home orders.
For roughly 200 kids across the region, COVID-19 means their wishes are on hold.
That’s where the Hope Patrol comes in.
“Right now, this is what we all need, something positive, something beautiful, something filled with love and encouragement,” said Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Lacey Nelson.
Law enforcement officers like Deputy Nelson are partnering with Make-A-Wish to lift “wish kids’” spirits while they wait.
“I lost an aunt to cancer in 2003,” Nelson told FOX40. “Illness hits hard for me.”
They will be sending videos to children and making special visits to their neighborhoods, hoping police lights can bring a little light to their lives.
“Anything to help cheer them up right now,” Nelson said.
With her wish granted, Cassie had some advice for those still on hold.
“It definitely is worth it. Just keep fighting,” she said.
FOX40 is partnering with the Make-A-Wish foundation in the Messages of Hope campaign. It’s an effort to help keep kids’ spirits up while they wait for their wishes to be granted.
Make-A-Wish is now asking for your help. All you have to do is shoot a quick video of encouragement, explaining that their wishes are not canceled, just waiting. Make sure to use the hashtag #wishesarewaiting.