It’s not your usual online shopping experience – a giant conference table, a laptop hooked to two wall-mounted big screen TVs, shiny blue star-shaped balloons adorning the walls, and a small crowd of supporters, volunteers and medical professionals erupting into cheer as you enter the room.
That was the experience of 17-year-old Jesse Aguilar-Rodriguez from Springfield. Jesse has been in Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland since February battling acute myeloid leukemia. His wish was to go on a shopping spree for his family and other kids at the hospital.
However, he isn’t able to leave the hospital, so Make-A-Wish® Oregon brought the shopping spree to him. Make-A-Wish Oregon took advantage of Amazon’s Prime Day, a 24-hour sale-a-thon, to give Jesse an online shopping spree to remember.
After some greetings and photos, Jesse went to work shopping with his volunteer wish granter, Tyler, who helped him navigate the web. The first two items he bought were shoes for his parents.
"They sleep inside the hospital with me. It's been almost five months that we've been here and I would like to give them thanks," said Jesse with tears in his eyes.
When Amazon heard that Jesse wanted to spend some of his money on other people, the online shopping giant offered to help by donating toys to the kids at the hospital. They also wanted to make sure Jesse didn’t leave himself out, so they sent him a video game, a headset and a Kindle.
Other retailers stepped up to help as well. GameStop gave him a PlayStation 4 and Macy’s sent some clothes for him to try on.
Jesse’s Make-A-Wish experience re-energized his spirit and gave him something to look forward to. He says he’s eager to go back to school at Springfield High School where he was involved with football, track and field and wrestling.
“This has been an overwhelming day,” said Jesse. “Thank you.”