(BPT) - For Elijah, age 6, of Westchester County, New York, life hasn't been easy since he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. However, a recent surprise has given him and his family a bright spot in an incredibly challenging time in their lives.
Elijah arrived at Bill Kolb Jr. Subaru, thinking he was going to look at cars with his family. But when he walked in, he was surprised by a large group of friends, family and community members with a party to celebrate his wish reveal.
Bill Kolb Jr. Subaru partnered with Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley to host a send-off party in its showroom, featuring an oversized "boarding pass" for Elijah's first time on an airplane, along with cake, favors and exciting gifts for his upcoming trip to a major theme park in Orlando.
"We know how physically and emotionally difficult medical treatments can be for children and their families," said Christopher Flood, general manager of Bill Kolb Jr. Subaru. "As a supporter of Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley, we hope to provide local children like Elijah with strength and positivity to fight against a critical illness."
Changing lives, one wish at a time
According to Make-A-Wish, approximately 27,000 children are diagnosed with a critical illness each year and research shows that granting wishes can improve children's quality of life and produce better health outcomes. When a wish is granted, it brings lasting impact to wish kids, their loved ones and their community.
Bill Kolb Jr. Subaru is one of a dozen Subaru retailers across the country helping to grant children's wishes as part of its national "Week of Wishes" initiative to make a lasting impact for wish children, their families and entire communities.
"Subaru and its retailers continue to provide support and exceed expectations for creating life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses nationwide," said Leslie Motter, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. "We are incredibly thankful for our longstanding partnership and look forward to continuing to work together to provide hope to wish kids and their families through initiatives like Week of Wishes, the Subaru Share the Love® Event and more."
Sharing the love
Elijah is just one inspiring example of the children across the U.S. whose wish has been granted thanks to the partnership between Subaru and Make-A-Wish. Some of this year's "Week of Wishes" surprises also included:
- Chloe, age 12, who wished for a "cheer cave" basement makeover. Quality Subaru in Wallingford, Connecticut, hosted a cheer-themed celebration where Chloe, her friends and family got a sneak peek of what her cheer cave will look like when complete.
- Alejandro, age 13, who wished to go on a shopping spree. He arrived at Garcia Subaru North in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for a red-carpet surprise party before being whisked away in a limo for his shopping adventure at a local mall.
- Lillian, age 4, who wished to play in the sunshine on St. Johns Island. AutoNation Subaru Hilton Head, in Hardeeville, South Carolina, hosted a beach-themed send-off party to surprise the Bluffton resident.
- Goel, age 14, who wished for a gaming system. Autobarn Subaru of Countryside in Countryside, Illinois, hosted a gaming-themed bash along with exciting gifts for his brand-new console.
Through the annual Subaru Share the Love Event, more than 600 Subaru retailers across the country have partnered with Make-A-Wish to help support children and families impacted by a critical illness. Since 2011, the automaker and its retailers have helped grant more than 3,300 wishes in the U.S.
Subaru is the largest automotive donor to Make-A-Wish, and this partnership is just one of the many ways the automaker realizes its vision to show love and respect to all people at every interaction. To learn more about the automaker's long-standing partnership with Make-A-Wish, visit Wish.org/Subaru.