There is very little in my life that makes me cry, not movies, or sad commercials, or even some proud moment in this life of parenthood. It takes alot to get me emotionally moved beyond words, but today something miraculous happened and I cried.
A few weeks ago I shared a story about a little boy named Zach, he is a wish child waiting for a bone marrow transplant. His first round of chemo has been somewhat successful, but not enough to move forward with the transplant. So, in moment of uncertainty, he decided to change his wish to something tangible and wondrous at the same time. He wished to go to Harry Potter World in Universal Studios... normally this would be an easy feat, Make A Wish would buy tickets on a commercial airplane, reserve spots for them at Give the Kids the World and like so many other Make a Wish families they would go and enjoy their week away from hospitals and doctors.
There was only one hitch with Zach, his immune system has taken such a beating that he cannot fly on a commercial flight, so after several weeks of trying and not succeeding to find him a charter plane, suddenly something amazing happened. Someone the family knows contacted Mark Cuban, who after several discussions with the family and making sure all the details were handled, he agreed to fly the family to Orlando for the three days that Zach's doctors have allowed him to go...
It's not often that I am in awe of how amazing life is... but today is one of those days, here is the blog from his father Jeff.
Our Holiday Story:
Chanukah, Christmas, Santa, and the world in general did not pause or slow down this holiday season, but we did the best we could to make the holidays memorable and fun for Zach and brother Jake and sister Lili. The room was festive, with appropriate violations of hospital rules wherever needed. Zach was thrilled with the nightly shower of Chanukah gifts, and the overlap, and over the top extravagance of Christmas gifts from friends, family, and Santa Claus was a site to behold. (You can see some of it in the postings below & I’ll post more to an album in a bit).
We had some stress keeping the myth of Santa Claus going a bit longer as we were spread thin on shopping time and logistics of getting kids, presents, and Santa to make appearances and leave gifts that would not tip off the curious Guillot children. We had a moment of sadness Christmas eve, when Zach thought Santa might not visit him because he was Jewish. I assured him that Santa had him covered, and he seemed to trust that.
CMC made it all come together with a live appearance of Santa bright and early Christmas morning. He brought a HUGE pile of gifts for Zach AND Jake AND Lili. Julie was careening on two wheels to get Jake and Lili up here in time to see Santa (hmm, she didn't mention THAT to the Dallas SWAT team that visited yesterday). She made it. Jake was thrilled, Lili was terrified.
Later, Zach’s first cousins came up for more play, gifts and toys to top off, under the circumstances, a great day. In the tradition of the Archer family, we ended with that fundamental question, “IS THAT ALL?” (see youtube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r92Y5y3rxVo).
But, our Holiday story does not yet end. A week or so ago, Zach asked his doctor out of the blue if he could go to Harry Potter world at Universal Studios before his transplant. He remembered that before his last transplant, we had a few days out of the hospital, and using the VIP access pass, and wearing a mask, we got to go to Six Flags. The fun he had there gave him some great memories during the months of isolation after the transplant, and gave him something to look forward to after.
The doctor said if he could travel on private jet (commercial air too exposed for his medical condition), and stay within a few hours of a hospital, he could go for a few days after this round of chemo. SO, reached out to Make-a-Wish (his wish from last round of treatments was still pending), and friends to see if we could make this experience happen for him. Make-a-Wish got everything set up in Orlando, but the requirement for a private aircraft/jet that could accommodate Zach was a challenge. Friends, in particular the Levy Clan, and I mean the WHOLE clan, along with Make a Wish, got Zach’s story out to people that could help.
Incredible, Awesome, Generous, Inspirational, Miraculous, Outstanding. Champion. Super Hero. These are words I can easily use to describe Mr. Mark Cuban. Literally within hours of hearing our story, Mr. Cuban and his personal assistant have offered (and we accepted!) to help Zach’s wish come true by flying us to Orlando. Not only is he providing Zach the opportunity for an experience of a lifetime, the caring and compassionate way he is handling the arrangements had me, his assistant, and Brian Levy in tears all day!
We can’t say enough about how the caring and efforts of Melissa and Ashley at Make-A-Wish, and Doug, Brian, Alyce, Joanne, Steve, and Harriet have touched us. There are so many more that worked on this, many that we don’t even know, and we thank all of you. I hope all that are reading this are having joyful holiday season and a safe and healthy new year.
So, in keeping with our holiday tradition, IS THAT ALL?!!!? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r92Y5y3rxVo