Woodbridge Resident Receives a New Set of Wheels
Make-A-Wish® Connecticut granted 17-year-old Paul Acampora’s wish to have a tandem bicycle. Paul lives with a genetic disorder that impairs his verbal communication and mobility. He may not be able to communicate like others his age; however, nonverbal cues such as eye contact, physical touch, and vocalizations are how Paul interacts with the rest of the world.
A large smile can always be found adorning Paul’s face when the weather is nice, and he can spend time outdoors. On nice days you will find Paul and the rest of his family enjoying some quality time outside on the swing set, camping, or swimming. When he was younger, Paul also enjoyed riding bicycles with his family, but once Paul grew out of the pull-along he was no longer able to join. As a result, they stopped riding, or some would go while others stayed back with Paul.
On March 27th, 2021, the sun was shining and the Chi Omega sorority from Sacred Heart University was hard at work bringing together the final touches for Paul’s wish. With chalk in hand, the Chi Omega sisters drew colorful stars, rainbows, and wrote messages such as “We Love You” and “Congratulations” as they waited for Paul and his family in the parking lot outside of the Make-A-wish Connecticut Wishing Place.
When he arrived on site, Paul was warmly welcomed by Chi Omega and the Make-A-Wish Connecticut staff. Shortly thereafter, Paul could not contain his excitement as he smiled and reached towards his wish presented to him underneath a blue and white balloon arch. His wish, a special accessible tandem bike, equipped with a motor to help with big hills and longer rides, was granted thanks to a special donation by Save The Kid organization.
Trails and paths have been opened by the gifting of this new tandem bicycle and Paul’s family is looking forward to cleaning the dust off their bicycles and riding together as a family again. With a helmet on his head and his seatbelt fastened, Paul’s smile seems permanently fixed on his face as he and his family head out on new adventures.
Make-A-Wish is in the business of delivering hope, and hope has never been more important than now for our wish kids. It can be difficult to continue to hope when we have had so many dreams deferred due to circumstances beyond our control, but the moment we have something to look forward to, everything begins to change. Hope is a superpower that kids living with critical illness, like Paul, have been tapping into long before many of us heard the word, “lockdown.” Helping more kids find hope is something we all have the power to do, because for these children—as for all of us—the promise of a wish is so much more than a temporary escape. It’s a wellspring of strength to keep fighting for better days. Hope is essential for children living with critical illnesses and you can unlock its transformative power today. Don’t wait for hope; create it! Donate now at ct.wish.org.
Make-A-Wish® Connecticut creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. They seek to bring every eligible child’s wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness. Together, generous donors, supporters, staff and volunteers across the state currently grant nearly 250 wishes a year. Since 1986, Make-A-Wish Connecticut has granted more than 3,600 wishes to local children. For more information about Make-A-Wish Connecticut, visit ct.wish.org.