Spending the bulk of your childhood simply trying to survive an illness is enough to break anyone down - but not Kaelyn. She’s a true fighter who’s overcome leukemia not just once, but three times. Although much of her childhood was spent in hospitals, separated from her friends and family, her bright spirit never dimmed and she never lost her incredible will to survive. And at age thirteen, when making her wish, she knew exactly what she wanted: to have a sweet companion in the form of a three-month-old puppy.
Meeting Chewbacca was a magical and moving experience for Kaelyn. Everything changed. Her new friend also had a health issue to overcome, Hypoglycemia. Helping Chewy get healthy again was amazing inspiration and renewed Kaelyn’s determination to fight and beat leukemia. Suddenly her world which used to be filled with endless pills, IVs and extended hospital stays was now filled with puppy snuggles, wet noses and training Chewy to learn new tricks.
Kaelyn‘s wish granter, Dwight, even went so far as to help convert her backyard into a puppy-safe haven for Kaelyn and Chewy. A new fence, fire pit and new furniture created a relaxing environment for the duo to spend time together and get better. Dwight’s compassion and connection to Kaelyn carries through to this very day. She keeps in touch with her former wish granter by email and visits him when she returns home to North Carolina. Chewy still serves as a loyal companion and continues to brighten her days.
Now a healthy 21-year-old, Kaelyn is pursuing her pre-med degree at DePaul University in Chicago with a double minor in Spanish and Psychology. She’s a sister in the Chi Omega Fraternity, whose national philanthropy just happens to be Make-A-Wish. As an active member, Kaelyn enjoys speaking on behalf of Make-A-Wish and helping the sisters with their fundraising efforts. She also helps with One Step at a Time, an organization that provides camp programs for children with cancer. Kaelyn is proof that a positive attitude, supportive friends and the power of a wish can have a positive impact on someone facing incredible odds.