Meet Avery Leman: Fossil’s 2023 Make-A-Wish girl


Aislyn McDonald

Avery and her mother Tara join in their home to speak on Avery’s journey

Sydney Lammey, News Director

Fossil will be honoring Avery Leman with the annual Make-a-Wish events this year.  Avery’s wish is to visit Hawaii.  Due to medical reasons, Avery wasn’t able to travel outside of Fort Collins or Denver for a long time.

At only eight years old, Avery was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a heart disease that causes the heart muscle to enlarge. She then got an internal defibrillator in her chest in case her heart stopped, or she had an arrhythmia. When Avery’s symptoms worsened at 14, she got a PICC line to get medication to the heart. In August of 2022, she got listed for a heart transplant, and in January this year, Avery got her new heart. 

Avery’s wish to visit Hawaii comes from a place of enjoying nature and wanting to explore new parts of the world. 

“I want to think of it as closure,” said Avery. “I want to just have a good time, meet fun people, hang out at the beach, just kind of be grateful for where I am because a lot of kids don’t get that opportunity.”

Avery has been fighting since she was eight years old, her biggest inspiration to keep fighting is Michelle Obama. 

“I really wanted to meet Michelle Obama. I think she’s like someone I look up to a lot. And I think she’s really an awesome person. And I love how she did so much when she was first lady,” Avery said. 

Valuing human kindness, Avery believes that her heart condition made her more empathetic. 

“I don’t think much can go wrong if you’re just a good person in general.”

— Avery Leman

“I don’t think much can go wrong if you’re just a good person in general,” said Avery. And I know, obviously, everyone’s gonna make mistakes. I’ve made mistakes. But I think that you should just treat everyone how you want to be treated.”.

In the future, Avery wishes to join the medical field. 

“I’ve been thinking a lot about being an NICU nurse, or also maybe a child life specialist too, because those really helped me when I was in the hospital,” Avery said.

Despite facing a difficult battle with heart disease, Avery has remained resilient and kept her positive outlook on life. Through the support of the Make-A-Wish foundation, her dream of visiting Hawaii has become a reality. 

For more information about Make-A-Wish, please visit