What started off as an ordinary day for 11-year-old Jason became a day he and his family would never forget. Jason was diagnosed with leukemia and in only a matter of days, Jason’s life completely changed.
After his diagnosis, waking up for school every morning was replaced with hospital visits and treatments. He was no longer able to do the things he enjoyed like going to videogame camp or even eating fresh fruits and vegetables. His mom was a Chi Omega sister in college and she had learned all about Make-A-Wish as their National philanthropy. She decided to refer her son and during the difficult hours spent in the hospital, having a wish was something exciting for him to think about. Since he was a toddler, Jason has had a blueberry bush and a fig tree in his backyard. He loved going into the backyard and picking fresh blueberries and figs; however, the animals would always get to the fruit before he could. For his wish, Jason knew he wanted a greenhouse to protect his blueberries and other plants and vegetables he likes to grow.
When Make-A-Wish supporters at Metrolina Greenhouses heard about Jason’s wish, they couldn’t wait to jump in and help make it come true. Jason and his family were invited to tour Metrolina Greenhouses and when they arrived they were greeted with a huge, warm welcome from the staff and got their own private tour of the grounds. While there, Jason painted a poinsettia, planted a few flowers and learned about greenhouse operation. Throughout the tour, the employees cheered for Jason and even made custom signs for him to keep. The family also went home with a wagon full of plants and a bag of fresh vegetables to enjoy.
Over the next few weeks, the team at Metrolina Greenhouses worked to prepare Jason’s backyard for the wish and make sure everything was perfect without missing a single detail. Jason had no idea that while he was in treatment, he had a surprise waiting for him. On the morning of Jason’s wish reveal, he was picked up in a limo and taken to IHOP for delicious breakfast before heading to GameStop to buy a few new games and stuffed animals. Jason had no idea that during this time, Metrolina Greenhouse staff and the Make-A-Wish team were busy working behind the scenes to put the finishing touches on his wish. The greenhouse was filled with all of Jason’s favorite fruits, plants and vegetables including tomatoes and cucumbers.
When Jason arrived back at his house, friends and family, along with the Metrolina Greenhouse and Make-A-Wish team, gathered in the backyard were chanting his name. He walked to the backyard and approached the curtain hiding his greenhouse. When the curtains were pulled back and Jason saw his wish, he was immediately overcome with happiness and excitement. He was speechless and couldn’t believe his eyes that his wish came true. Jason’s mom said, “He had the most amazing day and was completely surprised and appreciative of all that was done for him.”