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Make-A-Wish memories make my family smile

Kidsday reporter Jaslyn Marroquin Chavez, front center, her

Kidsday reporter Jaslyn Marroquin Chavez, front center, her brother Jose Granados, second from left, and their family members during their Make-A-Wish trip to St. Thomas. Credit: Marroquin Chavez family

Make-A-Wish is a foundation helping people make their wish come true. The nonprofit organization arranges experiences described as “wishes” for kids diagnosed with critical illnesses. My family and I became involved when my brother, Jose Granados, got sick.

They sent us on two trips. One was to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands and the other was to Montauk. In St. Thomas we had so much fun. We spent lots of time at the beach and the pool. We also did a lot of eating at the hotel. We took a boat ride and we also did a lot of shopping. We spent a lot of time laughing and enjoying the time with my brother.

They sent us on another trip to Montauk. We were there for only a few days, but one of the first things they asked us was, “Who wants to go on a plane ride?” We all said yes, but I was secretly scared because I had never been on a small plane before. We flew over the water, and I couldn’t believe how the pilot was just talking and driving the plane.

When we got to the airport we couldn’t believe our eyes. There was Rihanna, greeting the group! My brother got to meet her and have his picture taken with her. We stayed at the Montauk Manor, and we visited the Montauk Lighthouse. It was so much fun for all of us to be together.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation sent me and my family on these trips because my brother had cancer. It all started in his leg, and he was getting better until one day he had breathing problems, and he got worse. I was happy that we got to spend time with him for Christmas but when New Year’s came, it was not fun at all. He was taken to Cohen Children’s Medical Center.

After he went to the hospital he passed away, and that was very hard for us because he helped us with everything. I am happy that we had special times with him because he wanted us to be happy, not sad.

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