You know it’s a good day when you ask a 10-year-old to rate it on a scale of one to 10 and her reply is: 100!
Wren’s “100 day” began with her wish to have a therapy spa to help with her spinal muscular atrophy and allow her to feel as free as a mermaid in water. It ended with a surprise block party where more than 150 people came out to show their love and support for an amazing young lady. Somewhere in between, there were mermaids, synchronized swimmers, a ska band, face painting and a proclamation from the mayor of Portland, Charlie Hales, naming August 6, 2016, “Mermaid Day” in honor of Wren.
“I love to swim, I can float around all day,” said Wren, who has been in a wheelchair since she was 3 years old. “I can sometimes stand up when I can reach the bottom. It makes it so that I can move my legs around and stretch.”
“It’s absolutely flabbergasting the number of people who volunteered countless hours for my kid. We’re really honored,” said Wren’s mom, Cheryl. More than three dozen local businesses, organizations, volunteers and performers donated goods, services, time and talent to help make Wren’s wish day extra special.
“The coolest thing about this whole story was that everybody was like, yes. Whatever we needed to do, we had help with,” said Wren’s dad, Drew.
Manifold, a local marketing agency, was the mastermind behind the surprise block party – planning, organizing and executing the perfect day. “Manifold was truly humbled by the support and involvement from the Portland community,” said Kelly Long, partner at Manifold. “We were reminded that there are so many kind people in this world who are willing to reach out and lend a helpful hand. To know that we were able to help bring a little bit of magic and joy to Wren’s life impacted our team more than we had imagined.”
The best part, perhaps, was the effect the wish had on Wren. Her dad said receiving the therapy spa motivated her to train harder and was eventually able to swim the entire length of her therapy pool on her own.
“It inspired her that she could do it, and that gift to me is unbelievable,” said Drew. “The [therapy spa] is amazing and all, but to give her all that emotional support and that confidence, I can’t ever thank anyone enough for that.”
Special thanks to all of those who donated to support Wren’s wish: Marquis Spa; J. Beals Construction; Oliver's Precision Electric; Manifold; The Office of City of Portland Mayor Charlie Hales;The Rose City Raindrops; The Oregon Mermaids; M'chel Bauxal Makeup; Lakeshore Learning Materials; free rides to and from the event from Uber; musical entertainment by The Sentiments; the Costume Team from The Librarian; Food by Chipotle, VooDoo Donuts, Grand Cru Hospitality, Nohora Lambert and Kir Jensen; Target; Hollywood Lights; NW Stages; Acme Scenic; AAA Flag and Banner; Portland Party Rentals; Northwest Event Technology; Function Inc.; American Barricade; Schultz Clearwater Sanitation; Milana Gilligan Photography; Rubyheart Creative Photography; and Adam Cornelius.