During a recent fishing tournament, a Scranton teenager got a wish granted by Make A Wish Mid-South.
Keely Corbitt of Scranton suffers from epilepsy, a seizure disorder that requires her to be under constant supervision — not the ideal situation for an 18-year-old high school graduate.
After seeing a movie that featured a seizure service dog, Keeley knew that was the companion she needed to keep her safe while still having some independence.
Seizure service dogs are highly trained dogs that respond in various ways to their owner’s condition. In Keeley’s case, her service dog would be a constant protector to ensure others around her are aware of the situation if Keeley has a seizure.
Keeley and her family spent hours researching, collecting newspaper clippings and magazine articles that told of the benefits these service dogs have on epileptic individuals. However, the waiting list for a seizure service dog can be up to five years and the cost is substantial.
That’s when Keeley’s grandmother suggested Make-A-Wish and according to Keeley’s mother, Carri, "our lives haven’t been the same."
Keeley’s wish was sponsored by ARKOMA, so their annual ARKOMA Basin Oilfield Fishing Tournament held on May 2, was a fitting place for her wish to be revealed. Everyone in attendance, including Keeley’s parents, were aware that her wish was going to be granted that day, except Keeley. Keeley initially thought she and her family were going to the tournament to enjoy a nice afternoon picnic. She was shocked when her name was called as a "prize winner" over the loudspeaker.
After making her way up to the stage, Kelley met several Make-A-Wish volunteers who handed her a large poster with a photograph of her and her future service dog Athena displaying the words "Arriving Fall 2014, Keeley and Athena."
While Athena was unable to attend the wish reveal, she and Keeley had met weeks prior and the bond was instant. Keeley spent the next few minutes letting her wish sink in and opening gifts that included dog collars, a dog bed, food bowls, toys, etc.
"It was incredible. A huge blessing." she said. "I just thought we were going down to the lake for a picnic with family and never dreamed that Make-A-Wish would be there to grant my wish."
Make-A-Wish Mid-South grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. If you know of a child who could benefit from the experience of a wish, please visit www.midsouth.wish.org or call 1-501-376-9474.