Make a Wish: Samantha Meyers

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When I was ten years old, I heard about Make A Wish from some other kids with FD who had really cool wishes. One met the President, one was a stick boy for the Boston Bruins hockey team, and the other went on a shopping spree at The Mall of America. I was thinking about what kind of wish to make in August of 1999, when I was watching a show called NickNews with my mom. They had all kinds of kids with disabilities on the show talking with Linda Ellerbee and John Hockenberry and Christopher Reeve. I decided that I wanted to go on NickNews and tell kids about my disorder so that kids would understand what I have to go through everyday, but also that I am just a kid like other kids. I also thought it would be great for all the other kids with FD.

So, my mom and I went on the Internet to Make A Wish and told them my wish and they got back to us the next day! In September, Rachel Pine, my volunteer Wish godmother came over and helped me and my friend Marina make a "pitch book" with Polaroids, telling about my life, and she sent it to Nick News. In February of 2000, NickNews called and said they wanted to do the story with me!!! I worked with a producer named James Dudley. He was really cool! He came to my school, to my house, and to the Dysautonomia Treatment Center at NYU for my check-up with my doctor, Dr. Axelrod. Make a Wish paid for me to ride in a limo to go to and from school when we did that!!! I loved it!!! I also got to meet Linda Ellerbee in person when I visited the studios where they make Nick News.

The Party
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The final piece was about five minutes long, for a section called My Life. We had a BIG party at my apartment for the broadcast in April. Over 70 people came, including Pat Clemency and other people from Make A Wish, the producer, Dr. Axelrod, and of course all my friends! The show turned out to be great, and I had SOO much fun that night. My parents got me beautiful cake from my favorite bakery that said: "Congratulations!!! A Wish Come True."

Make A Wish paid for 100 copies of the tape, which we sent out to other families with kids with FD so they can use it to tell other people about their lives. We also sent it to doctors and scientists who are really working hard to help kids with FD, to help find ways to make our lives better, and hopefully find a cure!!! I think this was a great wish because So many cool things happened with it, and I had so much fun the whole time. The people at Make A Wish are SOOO nice and especially Pat Clemency, who we see a lot. I feel like she is a member of my family now!

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Because of my wish, I went on CNN with Kitty Pilgrim to talk about what I had done. That was pretty cool cause lots of people saw me and got to learn about FD and Make a Wish. They even put makeup on me and did my hair! I had to sit on a phone book because I was so little!! Pat Clemency was also there and talked about Make A Wish and all the work she does to make it possible for kids like me to have such fun wishes.
Make a Wish Ball
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I also got to go to the Make A Wish ball with other kids, and with my mom and dad. My mom and I spoke in front of everyone to tell them about my wish. It was a LOT of fun, although I was a little nervous. I got a beautiful new white lace dress and I had so much fun dancing.

Another cool thing I got to do was to meet Mrs. Mubarak, the wife of the President of Egypt. She was in NYC and was going to set up a Make A Wish in Egypt, and wanted to meet some kids. I showed my tape and talked about my wish. Luckily, the podium could go up and down or no one would have been able to see me!
Lower East Side Girl's Congress
One of the most fun things that happened because of my wish was that I was invited to talk to the Lower East Side Girl's Congress about my life and my wish. There were 200 teenage girls there. It was a little scary since I was only 11, but everyone loved the tape. I was voted the favorite speaker of all!!
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After that, I helped give out awards for Make A Wish to volunteers who really helped them. The ceremony was at Double Click Internet company. We got to see all their computer controls. They even have trees growing in their office space. It was huge. It took up two floors. And I got to ride in a limo again.

My wish was great because I got to help other kids with FD, and to help people doing research understand why we need their help. AND, I have had so much fun. I really learned the power of a wish, so when I had my Bat Mitzvah two years later, I dedicated to raise money for FD research and raised over $10,000! That made me feel really good because I could do something on my own to really help myself and other kids with FD. Even though it's really hard to have FD, I feel much better being able to do things to help other people, and to help find a cure, and I had so much fun doing all those things!