Oakville: Walk for Special Wishes Organization Helps to Grant Wishes to Teens

Members of Team Luca walk up Riverside Street during the Walk for Wishes event on Saturday, September 28. Luca D’Amico is a 19-year-old Watertown resident who is eligible for a special wish from Special Wishes, a statewide non-profit organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. The organization hosted a charity walk Saturday, September 28 at St. Mary Magdalen School in Watertown. (Perugini photo)

OAKVILLE — Special Wishes, a statewide non-profit organization that grants wishes to children with life threatening illnesses, hosted a charity walk at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 28 at St. Mary Magdalen School, 140 Buckingham St. Money raised by the walk will help grant the wishes of Luca D’Amico and Jordan Cody.

Luca, a 19-year-old Watertown resident who has autism, epilepsy and PANDAS, was approved to have his wish granted. PANDAS is an acronym for pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcus infections.

“I can’t thank my friends and family enough,” said Erin D’Amico, Luca’s mother. She is thankful for the community support in helping raise money for the charity event.

Luca’s wish is to visit Kaufman Astoria Studios and meet the cast of Sesame Street.

“We’re really excited,” said Darin D’Amico, Luca’s father.

Friends and family of the D’Amico family showed up to the event wearing Team Luca T-shirts. The design of the shirts was designed by Luca himself.

“It’s really good that they do this for older kids,” said charity recipient Jordan. 

Jordan is an eighteen-year old girl who lives in Terryville, loves Harry Potter, and is battling a life threatening illness.

Special Wishes allows applicants up to 21 years of age to have their wishes granted, unlike other wish granting foundations that cap the age of the recipient at 18.

Jordan, who is from Terryville, wishes to visit Universal Studios and see the Harry Potter World attraction with her family.

Members of the Cody family also arrived in large numbers to the charity event to support Jordan.

The charity walk, dubbed Walk for Wishes, has been an important part in raising funds to grant wishes for applicants. 

The walk was 2.5 miles long and started at St. Mary Magdalen School and went down Hillside Avenue up Riverside Street, onto French Street and down Buckingham Street.

Some of the previous wishes that the organization has granted have been trips to Disney Word, different states, dinner with family, visiting the president or celebrities and or receiving a pet dog.

The walk on Saturday, which attracted more than 130 walkers, was able to raise almost $8,000.

The money raised from the charity will allow both wishes to become a reality. 

Work is in progress to make both wishes come true.

“I can’t cure a kid, but I can make them happy for one day,” said Susan Ponton, one of the organizers for the event.

Special Wishes has been granting wishes to children since 1986. 

The organization is always taking applications from families with sick children.

Currently the organization has approved four more applications and has begun setting up the work to make those wishes become reality. 

Those interested in learning more about Special Wishes and their fundraisers may visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SpecialWishesInc/.

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