Wish comes true
Published 8:58 am Tuesday, September 30, 2014
RICH SQUARE – His number one wish in life is to fully regain his vision.
For the time being, 13-year-old Matthew Bazemore of the tiny Northampton County village of Milwaukee will settle for an all-expenses paid trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
That week-long trip, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, begins tomorrow (Wednesday). He will be accompanied by his mother, Donna, and other family members.
The 8th grader at Conway Middle School was diagnosed in 2011 with Juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma (JPA), a rare childhood brain tumor. As it is in most cases, Bazemore’s tumor is benign, but it has left him with balance problems and vision abnormalities, as well as bouts with headaches and nausea.
But what the tumor has not affected is his bright outlook on life, as well as his contagious smile. Both characteristics made it easy for Make-A-Wish officials in Raleigh to grant his wish to tour Disney World.
While he was aware of the pending trip to visit with Mickey, Minnie and all the Disney characters, Matthew was the featured guest at a surprise function held last Thursday at his favorite local restaurant – Claudine’s in Rich Square. There, Make-A-Wish volunteers Brent Cade of Cary and Tricia Jarrett of Garner presented Matthew with a few gifts, to include an Eli Manning football jersey and a cap of his favorite team – the New York Giants. There was also a cake – with the wording, “Wishes Do Come True” – etched in the icing.
“This never gets old to me,” said Cade, referencing the field visits where the wishes are granted. “It’s a lot of fun when you get to see the faces light up with joy. We came to visit with Matthew to help send him on his way to Disney and present him with a few parting gifts.”
He added that Disney is a partner with Make-A-Wish.
“They do not charge one cent for one these types of visits to their park,” Cade said.
For Matthew, not only will the trip mark his first visit to Disney World, but his first time in a commercial aircraft.
“If I can get past the plane ride, I’ll be alright,” Matthew said. “This really means a lot to me, to tour Disney World, and enjoy it with my family. I give thanks to God, as this all comes from him, and to Make-A-Wish for making all of this come together.”
The family will stay within the Disney compound. Matthew said he was looking forward to visiting the water park and Universal Studios.
“I’ve been told there’s something for everybody, all ages, at Disney World; I’m looking forward to the trip,” he added.
The Raleigh office of Make-A-Wish, with an all-volunteer staff, covers all of eastern North Carolina. In their most recently completed fiscal year, Raleigh Make-A-Wish granted 202 wishes. All of their funds are generated through individual and corporate donations, as well as fundraisers (the group will park cars at this year’s State Fair).