Waverly Walks for Wishes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waverly Walks for Wishes

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WAVERLY (KWWL)-- The Iowa Make-a-Wish Foundation has granted over 2,000 wishes in the past two decades.  But granting those wishes comes with a big price tag.  So the group is literally walking its way toward granting more wishes.

In Waverly, a few dozen people walked with purpose Sunday.  Their exercise was helping to raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Iowa.  It's funding that is important to help grant wishes for very sick kids.

"Those kids aren't feeling good and often are in the hospital for quite lengthy periods.  And so for them to have a chance to relax, to not think about what's been going on and to be normal, really gives them hope, strength, and joy and helps them to get better,"  said Carol Tebockhorst with Make-a-Wish of Iowa.

But granting them wishes, from meeting celebrities to the ever-popular Disney World vacations, come with a big price tag.

"The average cost of a wish here in Iowa is $9000.  And last year in Iowa, we granted 164 wishes, with about 15 of those right here in the Cedar Valley area," Tebockhorst said.

That's why fundraisers like the "Walk for Wishes" are needed.  As the walkers made their way around the track, there were constant reminders of the children, like 5-year-old Karsyn Miller, that they were helping grant wishes for.  Last year, Miller and her family got to visit Disney in Florida, at a time when she was battling leukemia.

"We were just coming off a very difficult time in treatment.  And when we went down there, we had the most amazing time.  Words cannot express the relief, the no worry, and how it was all an experience you can't duplicate," said Jessica Miller, Karsyn's mother.

In fact, it was such a special experience, that the Millers now volunteer with Make-a-Wish, helping make dreams come true for other kids.

"Once you experience this, you want to make sure every sick child that's been through something, like we have, gets the opportunity and the chance to do it," Miller said.

And with the help of all those stepping up with the "Walk for Wishes," the organization will secure the needed funding to make sure more kids are able to have a little fun during a very difficult time in their lives.

There are currently 19 wishes pending in the Cedar Valley alone.  If you missed out on Sunday's walk, you can still help the Make-a-Wish foundation grant those requests.  To learn more, call 319-930-2930 or visit the Walk for Wishes website.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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