MADISON, Ala. – Olivia Foster and her twin sister, Charlotte have Rett Syndrome, a rare, non-inherited neurological disorder.
It affects nearly every aspect of their lives, the ability to speak, walk, eat and even breathe easily.
In June, WHNT News 19 partnered with Make-A-Wish Alabama for a telethon to raise money for children with critical illnesses in our state.
The Foster’s story caught the attention of some people in the Tennessee Valley.
Especially when some heard about Olivia’s wish for a backyard splash pad.
Lacy Fitzpatrick, Northern Alabama’s Make-A-Wish development manager said they were able to quickly fill Olivia’s wish.
“One of our great North Alabama families saw a story and they contacted us and said that they wanted to adopt a wish,” explained Fitzpatrick.
So she said Make-A-Wish matched the family with Olivia Foster and watched Olivia’s wish come true.
“When she first came out she was just like looking like… ‘what is this in my backyard?’ You know, just that excitement,” exclaimed Fitzpatrick.
This wasn’t the Foster’s first experience with Make-A-Wish. Last year, Trey and Cora Foster say Charlotte’s wish was granted.
“Make-A-Wish had granted her sister a trip to Disney World and Livy is not the one who is into princesses. She’s more into doing things around water and going fast,” said Trey Foster, Charlotte and Olivia’s father.
The girl’s mom says Make-A-Wish has brought a new light into their lives.
“When our girls were diagnosed with Rett Syndrome it was really devastating. One of the first things that we did was we found out about Make-A-Wish and we thought, well let’s do something that’s uplifting for our family,” said Cora.
Now the Foster’s want to thank Make-A-Wish for the trip, splash-pad, love, and support for families.
“It is such a gift what they do for families and for children that are going through a hard time, and we are so grateful,” said Cora.
While Make-A-Wish is a national non-profit, the money raised in Alabama goes to Alabama children who are still waiting for a wish. There are 250 across the state, and 80 just in North Alabama.
The average wish cost is $8,000 and comes with a wait time of six months to two years. Their goal is to get the average wait time down to less than a year, which can happen with help from community support and donations.
If you’d like to make a donation to Make-A-Wish Alabama you can text ‘WISHES’ to 243725 or go to Make-A-Wish.