Ten years ago, hope and prayer is all Audrey Andritsch had when she found out her three-year-old brother, Luke, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in May of 2007. Being only a young girl, Andritsch could not seem to wrap her mind around the idea of how harmful her brother’s cancer could be. For three whole years, she stood alongside her brother through chemotherapy, bone marrow treatment and all the other medical care prescribed as a cancer patient. Though there were many hardships throughout the process, and days where they had to push just to make it from morning to night, one thing that brought a light in the darkness was the Make a Wish Foundation.
“The Make a Wish foundation has brought so much joy into my entire family’s lives.” Andritsch said. “Luke was granted a wish, and it brought so much hope and joy into a tough time in our lives.”
A year into his diagnosis, Luke was granted a wish by the Make a Wish foundation, a non-profit organization that gives cancer patients with life threatening diseases any experience that will make their dreams come true. Luke’s ultimate wish was to meet his all-time favorite childhood hero, Spider-Man, and the foundation worked its magic by sending the whole Andritsch family to all the parks of Disney World in Orlando, Florida to meet Spider-Man and other superheroes that Luke admired. Now, about a decade later, remembering the smile Make a Wish put on Luke’s face made junior Audrey Andritsch want to give back to the foundation. This year she is HSE’s Make a Wish Club co-president.
“I wanted to become a [Make a Wish] officer because I have had personal experience with how much impact the organization can have on a family.” Andritsch said. “I wanted to help give back to other Wish Families and be a part of this miracle making.”
Although the Make a Wish Club’s purpose has inspired Andritsch to become a leader for this group, she credits a great amount of motivation to be co-president to her brother. Many other children at such a young age have had to spend much of their childhood in a hospital bed like Luke. However, they never failed to keep a positive attitude. This capability of staying positive even when critically ill is what moved Audrey to make sure these children stay smiling.
“I think it would be great if we could develop the club to grant several wishes in a year, and meet more wish kids,” Andritsch said. “So people involved in the club know how much of a difference they are making in the world.”