By Josh Tyquiengco
Make-A-Wish Guam and CNMI held a send-off ceremony Thursday for its latest wish kid.
Patrick Arriola and his family were all smiles at McDonald’s in Harmon as the Make-A-Wish Guam and CNMI chapter hosted a small send-off at his favorite restaurant.
Make-A-Wish Chapter President & CEO Eric Tydingco says they had short notice, but were able to grant the 15-year-old’s wish for his family to fly out with him to Houston, Texas.
Eric Tydingco, President & CEO, Make-A-Wish Guam & CNMI said: “We said, ‘Ok! Let’s do it.’ So we understand they’re relocating. It’s indefinite really because we don’t know how long that procedure will take and how long the recovery will be. But we pretty much turned this around in three and a half weeks.”
Rose Atalig, Patrick’s mom, said there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for her children. “If I could do it, I’ll do it,” she said.
Atalig said her son is in need of a kidney transplant after fighting chronic kidney disease since 2017. While she is overwhelmed preparing to relocate and fly for the first time on an airplane with her children, she remains strong.
Her husband Peter flew out ahead of them to get them settled. It also turns out Peter is a match for Patrick and will be donating one of his kidneys for a second chance at the life he deserves.
“We’ve been trying our best to figure a way to get him back there to do a transplant because we have no harvest team in Guam, which is something we should look at. But we didn’t stop,” Rose Atalig said.
So how does she feel about going to Texas? “Kinda of a little excited and scared,” she said.
As Patrick enjoys his Big Mac and fries, the Okkodo High School student tells PNC he’ll miss his roosters, but looks forward to having his family together while he prepares for the upcoming surgery.
He and his mom also thank everyone for their support.
“To all the strangers out there that reached out to me on social media, thank you for your prayers. Most especially to my husband and Make-A-Wish Foundation for granting my son’s wish and for my husband to give my son a second chance,” Rose said.
Patrick Arriola, the wish kid, said: “Thank you to the Wish Foundation for granting my wish and everything and the people that gave me the gift, God bless them all whoever helped me out.”
Make-A-Wish so far has granted 10 wishes this year. You can find out more information on granting wishes at guam.wish.org.