Giving a dream, instead of getting gifts

December 23, 2008 6:43:29 PM PST
Two young girls passed on getting birthday gifts to help fulfill the wish of a sick child. The mothers of these two eight-year-old girls gave them an option last month -- have a birthday party with lots of presents for them or have a fundraising birthday party. And because the girls knew Christmas was right around the corner, they wanted to make their party about someone else. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Mady Calvo and Gabby Lowe are inseparable. The best friends even complete each other's sentences. The two girls had planned to have a joint birthday party last month but instead of inviting friends to celebrate with gifts, they decided they'd rather have them donate money to the Make a Wish foundation, an organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

"We were going to do either get presents and all that but we chose not to get presents because we have so many blessings," said Gabby.

"They were able to take just a simple birthday and change it into make this difference," explained Mady's mom Aly Calvo.

But the eight-year-olds were challenged. In order to sponsor a wish, they'd have to raise $5,000 in two months, and they wanted to do it just in time for Christmas.

"I didn't think we would ever get to a thousand," Mady recalled.

But with help from their moms and support from their community and classmates, the girls were able to raise the money.

Mady said, "Once we heard that we got to $5,000, we literally screamed at the top of our lungs."

A special boy's dream
Christopher Towe's fascination with Steven Spielberg began at an early age when he first saw the movie "Jurassic Park." Little did he know that one day his wish of actually meeting the director may come true.

"Christopher's really into 'Jurassic Park' and movies and filmmaking," said Christopher's mother, Molly Strang.

Christopher was born with a rare lung disease and is the oldest living survivor. His mother contacted the Make a Wish foundation to make his dream of meeting the super star director come true.

She recalled, "For a while there I really did worry that we wouldn't be able to even do the wish, especially with his lung disease. He gets sick."

Christopher has been waiting three years for his wish and Monday his mother finally got the call. She almost couldn't believe her ears.

"I said, 'Who? Wait -- sponsor Christopher's wish?' And she said, 'Yes, it's Make a Wish they are going to sponsor Christopher's wish.' And I went, 'Oh my gosh!'" Strang explained. "I don't even know where to begin, to make his wish come true. My son means the world to me."

The end of a goal, the beginning of a wish
On Tuesday, just two days before Christmas, the two groups met.

"Christopher, I feel really blessed to be able to make your wish come true," Gabby said.

With a big smile, Christopher accepted. The moms know their girls made a difference in someone else's life.

Gabby's mom Karen Lowe said, "Our hope is that the value will be instilled and they will learn to live a fulfilling life and the true gift is giving and not receiving."

Mady said, "It feels so good to reach out."

"It's the best feeling that you could ever have, probably," Gabby added.

Now that the Make a Wish foundation has the funds to make Christopher's wish come true, the organization will begin the process of contacting Steven Spielberg's people to set something up at a later date.

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