RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — 8News has teamed up once again with Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia to help grant wishes for children battling critical illnesses.

On Thursday, Aug. 25, the 8News team hosted a telethon where viewers could help make wishes come true by donating airline miles.

The donations make all of the difference for kids, like 8-year-old Cooper Muncy, who spent months in the hospital battling blood cancer.

In 2020, Cooper was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Because Cooper’s diagnosis came at the beginning of the pandemic, his family had to spend a lot of time apart.

“I had to spend a lot of time in the hospital and it was very painful, and it wasn’t fun,” Cooper said.

His mother, Jen Muncy, added “We really depended on God and found hope through our relationship with him.”

After six months, Cooper underwent a blood marrow transplant. He tells 8News, that through it all, his wish was to go somewhere with “crystal clear, blue water.”

Through Make-A-Wish, that wish came true. It was even more special because it came on the two-year anniversary of his transplant.

 “It was beautiful. We saw a lot of fish and we did a lot of boat rides and parasailing. We had a fun time,” Cooper said.  

“It was carefree. We ran on the beach. We got to look for shells. And it was a time for our family to be together for the first time and not have to worry about anything cancer-related,” his mom said.

The Muncys said this was a chance for Cooper to be a kid again, and for them to reconnect as a family.

“Thank you so much for donating a trip of a lifetime for us to get to be together and laugh for the first time in a long time and be carefree,” Jen Muncy said. “It’s something that will last us a lifetime.”

This year, Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia will grant 150 wishes for children in our region. Of them, 45 will require air travel.

If you’d like to donate unused or expired airline miles, call 804-330-8880.