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The Perfect Wish for Sam

  • Sam, his parents and his sister Natalie

  • Exploring the area around the lake

  • The houseboat

  • Sam on one of his adventures

  • Sam and his friends

  • Knee-boarding for the first time

  • One of the many inner-tubing adventures

  • Sam with his mom

“ My cheeks hurt from smiling so much! ”


- Sam, wish child

Adopt-A-Wish Sponsor Blue Bunny Logo

12-year-old Sam loves being with his friends and he loves being on the water. So his wish to go to Lake Shasta with family and friends was the perfect way to combine the things he loves.

The group, consisting of ten people, spent four days in a houseboat on Lake Shasta in Northern California, where Sam and his friends went inner-tubing three times a day.  He also knee-boarded for the first time.  His mom Lorna said doing something new made Sam feel empowered.

Sam, 12, Portland, Lake Shasta

It’s been a long road for the family.  Doctors diagnosed Sam with Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone cancer, when he was nine years old.  The tumor attacked his left fibula, forcing doctors to amputate his leg below the knee.  A year later, a second tumor showed up.  This time, his doctors had to remove a part of his other foot.

His mom said it was tough for her to watch Sam – this young, energetic, out-going boy - spend so much time in the hospital.  “When you have a child with cancer… there’s a desperate feeling of wanting your child to smile and laugh.  So the contrast of being on this wish where everything was the right fit makes me feel happy – to see him living life well and with fullness.”

From inner-tubing and kayaking to hiking and watching movies, Sam made the most of his wish experience.  At one point, as the group returned from another tubing adventure, Sam exclaimed, “My cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing so much!”

Blue Bunny®, who sponsored Sam’s wish, helped keep the kids’ energy up by providing ice cream and popsicles.  Lorna said it was a great treat for everyone, especially having been through so much together.

On the last night of the wish trip, the kids put together a talent show on the deck of the houseboat – everything from singing and dancing to a silly skit.  “It was so funny.  I was laughing so hard,” recalled Lorna.  A perfect way to end a perfect wish.

It was the perfect combination of the things he loved. ”

— Lorna, Sam's mom

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Make-A-Wish® Oregon
2000 SW 1st Avenue, Suite 410
Portland, OR 97201
(503) 292-2280
Toll Free (800) 934-9474