17-year-old Darrion, recently won a hard fought battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma, which is a form of cancer originating from white blood cells called lymphocytes. Over the last few years both Darrion and his mother have had to overcome a growing number of obstacles, which has made the holiday season a difficult time of year.
This all changed in 2012 when Darrion wished for a shopping spree. Although Darrion made this request to obtain new clothing for his return to school, after a long hiatus due to his illness, this plan changed as the 2012 Christmas holiday approached.
During the planning process, Darrion's wish granters discovered that his mother would be unable to give her son the magical Christmas that she would like to celebrate his recent recovery. In order to enrich his wish experience, long time Make-A-Wish® volunteers, Teri Capshaw and Ellen Richardson, teamed up to not only assure that Darrion would have gifts this Christmas, via his shopping spree, but that this would be his most memorable Christmas ever.
Kicking off this special holiday 10 days before Christmas, thanks to Make-A-Wish, Darrion shopped until he dropped with family and friends. Following this shopping extravaganza, Darrion was treated to a Christmas celebration, including a fresh cut Christmas Tree, courtesy of Papa Goats Christmas Tree Farm, in Sparta, NC, as well as specialty tree trimmings and stocking stuffers collected by Winston-Salem's high school Helping Squad.
“Thanks to Make-A-Wish and those that assist this organization we are going to have the best Christmas ever,” said Darrion and his mother Derwanda. “We even have family coming into town to celebrate at our home this year!”
“I was so honored to give an extraordinary experience to this strong young man,” said Dennis Bell, owner and operator of Papa Goats Christmas Tree Farm. “When Ellen approached us about this wish enhancement we were excited to know that one of our fresh, Choose & Cut Christmas Trees would make this season a little brighter for Darrion and his mother. We look forward to working with Make-A-Wish far into the future.”
"Everyone in the Helping Squad was very enthusiastic to help Darrion, especially during this holiday season," said Sophie Capshaw-Mack, founder and president of the Helping Squad. "Hopefully, our donations will help him have a great Christmas."