On a hot morning in June, nine-year-old Shane looked out the window of his family’s home, anxiously anticipating his special ride. When the limo came down the driveway, Shane knew it was going to be a special day.
Shane, along with his parents, siblings and cousins, climbed into the car and headed to Walmart in Hendersonville.
The associates at Store #1376 were ready to greet Shane with posters, a fancy shopping cart, and official associate vest and name tag. One especially artistic employee created a Welcome Shane! banner and created Pokémon, LEGO and Minecraft-themed posters for his cart. When Shane arrived, everyone chanted his name. He answered with a huge grin.
Bill, the store manager, made Shane an official Walmart associate. After helping the VIP into his new vest, Bill pointed out that it was full of commemorative pins from Walmart stores around the country. Dressed in his special uniform, Shane was to ready shop. First stop: the toy department. Shane quickly filled his cart, well, carts, with stuffed animals, LEGOs, games and Pokémon cards. So. Many. Pokémon cards. Shane enjoyed being the center of attention, but he also shared the fun with his siblings and cousins and let them pick toys of their own.
At the end of his shopping spree, Shane was presented with cupcakes and gifts from the Walmart associates. The week before, the employees hosted a bake sale and raised money to purchase the gifts.
Shane ended his day with lunch and games at Holder Family Fun Center in Gallatin, where even more family members gathered to celebrate his special day!!
A wish gives a child with a critical illness the power of choice. Shane did not choose cystic fibrosis. He doesn’t get to decide when he does breathing treatments or visits the hospital. But, for one morning, Shane was given the gift of choice. He chose every item he put in his cart. Every LEGO kit. Every piece of Pokémon or Minecraft gear. Those choices gave him confidence and freedom and the opportunity to use his imagination. Shane’s wish will give him hours of playtime during his breathing treatments and memories of a very special day.