Make-A-Wish Colorado connects Fossil to Wish Kid Reece

Make-A-Wish Colorado connects Fossil to Wish Kid Reece.

Make-A-Wish

Make-A-Wish Colorado connects Fossil to Wish Kid Reece.

Jordan Brownhill and Lizzy Camp

As Fossil Ridge High School kicks off its annual Wish Week, the spotlight falls on this year’s Wish Kid, Reece. 

Reece was diagnosed with leukemia in January of 2020, just before the pandemic hit. His family was extremely worried about what that would mean for Reece. “We were really scared when the pandemic started,” recalled Trista, Reece’s mom. The family was extremely cautious with everything and everyone they came into contact with in order to keep COVID-19 away. “ I was crazy sanitizing everything that came into the house and we didn’t go anywhere except to Children’s [Hospital] for appointments,” she said. 

The isolation that Reece faced during his time in the hospital was difficult for him. “My sister and the rest of my family were not able to visit,” Reece said. Along with the always constant fear of COVID-19, Reece’s parents struggled with watching their son deal with his diagnosis. “It was unbelievably hard the first eight days [after the diagnosis].” His first days of treatment were extremely challenging on both Reece and his parents. They remembered, “It was so hard to watch him feel so terrible and not feel like a kid.”

“It was so hard to watch him feel so terrible and not feel like a kid.””

— Reece's mom, Trista

Make-A-Wish provided the family with hope during this dark time. “It was such a bright spot during this stay when we were told that he would be able to have a wish granted,” said Trista.  “He was so excited and just the thought of a wish was such a distraction.” Reece’s wish also helped him throughout his treatment. “It has been really fun thinking about my trip,” he said. 

Once the restrictions around the pandemic lightened, Reece was able to see his friends and attend school. The treatment for his leukemia was very hard on both Reece and his family. “He missed a lot of school due to treatment and he just wasn’t feeling up to going to school,” Trista said. But, as the treatment continued, he began to feel refreshed. “He had started feeling better as his body was more used to treatment. This really helped him feel more like a kid again.” 

He was so excited and just the thought of a wish was such a distraction.”

— Reece's mom, Trista

Being a part of Fossil’s Wish Week has been a great experience for Reece. “It has made me so happy.” Make-A-Wish is working to grant Reece’s wish of going to Legoland in California and e is excited to be able to go on the rides that they have there. His favorite Lego sets are, without a doubt, his Marvel and Star Wars themed ones.

Fossil is hosting several events to fundraise for Reece during the week of April 4, 2022. (Make-A-Wish)

“They [Make-A-Wish] have been absolutely wonderful,” his parents said. The organization has been an inspiration in the family’s life.

Fossil is not the only school that partners with Make-A-Wish with over 150 Colorado schools with the organization. “We are grateful to have so many schools that partner with us each year to raise money and make more wishes possible,” says Hannah Burrin, the Development Coordinator for Make-A-Wish Colorado. Last year, nearly 125 schools participated in the Kids For Wish Kids program, and the schools raised nearly $975,000 for the program. “We are always looking for new school partners and many times, students will hear from their peers at other schools and will bring the program to their community,” said Burrin. 

To find out more about the Make-A-Wish Colorado mission, or learn how to volunteer, donate, and fundraise, you can visit their website.