Helping others is really what makes the world go ‘round. One organization that’s mission is just that is the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Madison. I recently partnered with this amazing organization and offered my services to capture Darien’s Make-A-Wish journey. Darien is a 14-year-old boy who is battling a rare autoimmune disease called histiocytosis. This is the second time Darien has faced this battle since his first diagnosis in 2011. Although young, Darien was quite an athlete and when he started experiencing leg and hip pain, doctors first attributed it to a sports-related injury. Doctors were able to help Darien beat the disease, but six months later it returned and he now is receiving monthly chemotherapy treatments.
What keeps Darien going is his love for Badger sports, namely Badger Football. Darien’s wish? A Wisconsin Badger-inspired room makeover. A good friend of mine, Nancy from Pure + Simple Designs, mentioned that she was providing the room makeover and I knew I wanted to get involved and capture this journey for Darien. And not only did Darien get a Badger-inspired room makeover, he spent time with the football players each day during the makeover; talking, throwing around a football and inspiring the players, no doubt. And the icing on the cake? A private tour of Camp Randall by two Badger football players, Ray Ball and Derek Watt. Head coach, Gary Anderson, met with Darien and gave him a signed helmet and tickets to the first game of the season!
This was truly an experience of a lifetime for Darien and I was honored to be a part of it. Thank you Nicole from Make-A-Wish for letting me document such an amazing few days. Take a look at some of the photos from this very special Make-A-Wish experience.
Side Note: Badger football players were there even though it may not look like it from the images posted here. Make-A-Wish is the only organization with permission to use images of them since they are a non-profit.