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Cory Buckner

Meet Cory

Volunteer Cory Buckner
Cory Buckner, paramedic with the Nashville Fire Department and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
How long have you been affiliated with Make-A-Wish?
I have been with Make-A-Wish for three years as a volunteer.
What is your favorite experience with Make-A-Wish?
I have spent countless hours playing on the floor with Make-A-Wish kids at the Nashville International Airport.  From chasing wish kids or their siblings to sitting and staring out the window with them at all the planes, I think that taking that child and letting mom and dad catch their breath after getting through security has been one of my favorite moments that I’ve been lucky enough to have experienced more than once.  Many times these families are flying for the first time so their anxiety is high. It makes me proud to be a part of the Make-A-Wish organization to be able to ease a little bit of that stress and be there to answer questions and get them through a very nerve wracking experience of flying for the first time.  The look of relief on their face knowing that someone is there to assist them should an issue arise makes it all worthwhile.
In what way have you seen the impact a wish can have on a child?
The kids in the Make-A-Wish program are the definition of the word fighter.  They are often faced with illness and disease that is insurmountable and yet, they fight every single day.  From the kid that made an advent calendar counting down his trip to Hawaii while undergoing chemo to the little girl who just wanted to see Disney before she died, these kids literally fight for one more day every single day.  Through Make-A-Wish, I have been fortunate to see these kids rewarded in a small way for that fight.  The smiles on their and their families' faces show just how strong they truly are.  Make-A-Wish gives them a light at the end of the tunnel even if it’s just a temporary break to a continuing battle.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about being a volunteer?
My biggest concern was that I wouldn’t be able to commit enough time.  I quickly learned that with just two hours a month, you can make a tremendous difference to a family. From helping a family get through the airport for the first time to fly off to their wish or meeting with an anxious child to find out what their wish would be or even, throwing the biggest party for that child that has no idea that they are going to Disney World for the first time after beating cancer.  If you have ever thought about being a volunteer, just try it. There are so many kids that need a volunteer that can spare two hours. The laughs and smiles that you will share with them and their family are absolutely worth it.
If you could have one wish, what would it be?
My one wish would be that every child in the Make-A-Wish organization be able to grow old and share their wish stories with others for years to come.  Ultimately, I would wish that no child would ever need Make-A-Wish but as long as there is a need, my wish is for the great things that this program does continue to help brighten the lives of so many other children and families.

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Make-A-Wish® Middle Tennessee
600 Hill Avenue
Suite 201
Nashville, TN 37210
(615) 221-2200