Make A Wish Turns VCU Student's Dream Into A Reality
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - Next month, you're invited to join the 8News team for the Greater Richmond Walk for Wishes. It's a fun walk to raise money to grand wishes to kids across our region, like Amanda Downing.
After five years of unexplained headaches, nausea, hand tremors and other symptoms, doctors found that Amanda had a cancerous brain tumor. It was removed in July 2011, and Amanda never skipped a beat.
"It never even crossed my mind. I just thought we're going to beat this and we're going to be done with this one day," she says while taking a break from a soccer game with friends. "I had so much. I had my soccer team, family, friends. I was SEA second vice president, I had theater, everything."
Amanda's love of theater shaped her wish: to sing in a recording studio. Make A Wish didn't leave it at that, however. On August 31, 2012, a limo picked up Amanda, and she got the star treatment that included hair, makeup, a new outfit and more. Amanda then recorded a few songs and took home a CD that she can listen to forever.
Her mom Charlene remembers the Wish Day fondly. "To see the smile on her face alone was all I needed but to experience that with her was amazing. Make A Wish did a great job."
Amanda is about to turn 19 and is a student at VCU. She hopes to perform on Broadway one day and will continue to support Make A Wish's efforts to help more children's dreams come true.
"After everything they've been through they deserve to be happy like that," she says. "You're a person at the end of the day. You're a person. You're not a person who has cancer or a person who has a terrible disease. You're a person and I think that's what Make A Wish is all about."
Amanda and her friends and family will participate in the Greater Richmond Walk for Wishes. It will take place on Saturday, May 3 at Dorey Park in Henrico County. It's free to participate, but fundraising is encouraged. You can learn more here.