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Railroad crossing sign lights up Tristan's life

Tristan, 7, Portland, railroad crossing

“ To see others love my son enough to want to pull this off was so amazing. ”


- Amy, Tristan's mom

Tristan is a 7-year-old with a fascination for railroads, and his wish most definitely stems from a very creative train of thought.

Ever since he got his first set of Ikea wooden trains from his mom when he was 2 years old, Tristan has been obsessed with railroads. Five years later, Tristan’s enthusiasm for railroads remains as high as ever.

So, when Make-A-Wish Oregon asked Tristan for his one true wish, he took the opportunity to bring the train tracks closer to home. Tristan wished to have a railroad crossing sign of his very own. However, the wish wasn’t about having just another toy. Amy, Tristan’s mom, said the wish experience gave him a new perspective. You see, for Tristan, big moments are usually associated with something not fun, like hospitals or treatments. Part of the beauty of Tristan’s wish is that he took part in a big event that was something purely positive.

Tristan’s family and friends, along with community members, all came together to make this wish come true. Tristan’s signs had to be made to specific dimensions, which is no easy task. Contractors, engineers and builders from all over the state, including Mark Adelblue, Alan Shifley and Paul Yaniw, were up for the challenge. Together, they made Tristan’s wish come to life, adding magical touches and even opening up Willow Creek Railroad & Museum in Brooks, Oregon, for Tristan’s wish celebration.

Tristan, 7, Portland, railroad crossing 

Tristan arrived to what he thought was a simple party, but his eyes lit up immediately when he saw the railroad signs. When he realized that the railroad signs were going home with him, all he could say was, “Oh, my gosh!” He was completely mesmerized.

“The whole process was amazing for us as parents,” said Amy, who was also grateful to Tristan’s volunteer wish granters, Wendy and Eleanor, for being so attentive to every little detail. “To see others love my son enough to want to pull this off was so amazing.”

Tristan’s mom said that these railroad signs are much more than something Tristan can have in his room. They serve as a constant reminder of all he has overcome. “When Tristan is older and can understand the struggles he went through, this will make it even more worth it.”

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Make-A-Wish® Oregon
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Portland, OR 97201
(503) 292-2280
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