Marathon’s Salt Lake City refinery arranged for Kaydin and his family to be guests at an employee picnic in the fall where a surprise announcement was made to let him know his wish would come true.
- A nine-year-old boy in Salt Lake City with cystic fibrosis received his wish to upgrade his bedroom to help him cope more easily with his condition.
- A grant from Marathon Petroleum Corporation allowed Make-A-Wish® Utah to fulfill this wish and is expected to fund the wishes of as many as four additional children.
- Marathon also arranged for the boy and his family to attend an employee picnic at a local amusement park for a surprise announcement to let him know his wish would come true.
Every day, a nine-year-old boy in Salt Lake City named Kaydin undergoes two breathing treatments to break up mucus in his lungs and uses a feeding tube to ensure he absorbs sufficient nutrition due to complications from cystic fibrosis. This disease typically is diagnosed at birth, however Kaydin’s condition was not identified until a little more than a year ago after he became extremely pale, his oxygen levels plummeted and he had to be airlifted to a hospital. Coping with this abrupt change in his life is now being made a little easier through efforts by Make-A-Wish® Utah and Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC).
“Kaydin must sit for long periods of time during the breathing treatments and has become a huge gamer to help pass the time, playing both video games and board games. His wish was to have a shopping spree to upgrade his bedroom with a new gaming chair, desk, computer and bedding,” said Make-A-Wish Utah Development Officer Summer Ehrmann. “Having a new chair is vital for his room as this is where he spends the most time due to his condition.”
“Wishes are necessary to the medical treatment journey and improve the odds of survival. In short, wishes give kids what they need to fight.”
A $25,000 grant from MPC not only made the online shopping spree in December possible, it is also expected to fund wishes for as many as four additional children. Kaydin’s gifts were wrapped and delivered to his family’s home over his Christmas break.
A couple of months before the shopping spree, MPC further enhanced Kaydin’s overall experience by planning a surprise announcement to let him know his wish would come true. The company’s Salt Lake City refinery arranged for Kaydin and his family to be guests at an employee picnic at a local amusement park where the wish proclamation was made in front of about 100 people.
“Kaydin was asked in advance if he had a favorite ride at the amusement park, and he said he didn’t know because he had never been to the park even though he lives only about 15 minutes away,” Ehrmann said. “It was definitely a day he will never forget, especially because he got to see how many people in the community care about him through the size of the gathering.”
After wishes are granted, Make-A-Wish Utah holds star-raising ceremonies in the lobby of its building. Each child signs and decorates a stained-glass star that is then attached to a 60-by-20-foot metal framework that hangs from the ceiling.
“Granting wishes has a powerful impact, which was validated through a national Make-A-Wish survey of parents and medical professionals in 2022,” said Ehrmann. “They overwhelmingly agreed wishes were necessary to the medical treatment journey and improved the odds of survival. In short, wishes give kids what they need to fight.”