Back in 2012, seven year old Zachary received news about a very special surprise. The Rhode Island based nonprofit, Children’s Wishes, was going to grant his wish to go to Disney World. As a young child, Zach was diagnosed with Epilepsy and P.A.N.D.A.S. (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections) and spent much of his early life in the hospital. When his doctor qualified him for a wish, Children’s Wishes stepped in and brought his seven-year-old birthday dream to life.
Now approaching his fourteenth birthday, Zach is still involved with Children’s Wishes, and has become the first Mentee as part of our new Mighty Mentors Program.
Built in partnership with Children’s Wishes, this mentorship program pairs Wish Kids with Mighty Well Mentors who have lived experience with a serious illness. The Mighty Mentor meets with their Wish Kid Mentee and their family, sharing stories, advice, guidance, support, and inspiration in times of need.
This past week, we kicked off our first Mighty Mentor relationship with our CEO and co-founder, Emily Levy, and Zach!
“I was thrilled that right before I left for my wedding in Kuwait we were able to officially kick off the program,” Emily said, describing their first meeting.
The Kick Off Meeting
“I got matched with Zach, an almost 14-year-old boy who lives with a number of genetic and chronic health conditions. He and I are actually both suffering from two of the same conditions in the autonomic nervous disorder family! Zach and I had a special bond over our love for the Middle East, our challenges with the same health conditions, and our creative imaginations. We had such a great time during our first meeting, and I can’t wait to continue spending time together in the months to come!”
During their kick off meeting, Zach and Emily worked on some fun craft and science projects, and planned for their next adventure – a trip to Dave and Busters to celebrate Zach’s 14th birthday!
“I also was proud to present Zach with a [Self Care Case] to help him organize his medication and medical supplies,” Emily said. “His mom said that this was the perfect item for his trips with his Boy Scout troop and for the hikes that his family and for the hikes that his family likes to take together!”
We can’t wait to continue to see Emily’s relationship with Zach develop, and are so thankful to everyone in the Children’s Wishes family for making this relationship and our future mentoring relationships possible.
Are you interested in becoming a Mighty Mentor? We want to hear from you! Send Allie, our Social Impact Manager, an email to express your interest.