Jade’s genetic disorder forces her to visit the doctor every other Tuesday for treatment. This has not been easy for Jade, who is just 7 years old. She often used to come home from her appointments and only want to sleep all day.
“The day Jade’s illness really hit me was when she had her operation to insert a fistula into her upper left arm,” said Rubi, Jade’s older sister by 12 years. “Seeing her tiny body on the hospital bed with her arm all wrapped up shattered my heart. But Jade was still smiling.” Despite their age difference, Jade and Rubi are very close. “Growing up, I made sure that I had days off from school and work so that I could always go to Jade’s hospital appointments. She’s too young to be going through any of this.”
Jade is a shy and timid child but also very responsible for her age. When Make-A-Wish gave her the chance to wish for anything, Jade knew she wanted something to care for and something that would cheer her up after her appointments. Jade wished to have a Coton de Tuléar puppy, complete with spots on its ears and tail so that it looked like a character from her favorite cartoon. She named her new puppy Sky.
Sky has transformed Jade’s life. Not only has Sky taught her to be more assertive – especially when trying to chew her sandals – but Sky has also given Jade a newfound sense of courage and confidence. When Sky needs to go to the vet for shots, Jade will hug Sky and tell her not to be scared; that she’ll be OK because she gets shots too, and she gets through it.
At the end of each school day, Rubi and Sky meet Jade out front as her classmates gather around to meet the white fluffy puppy. “Jade always looks really proud in those moments,” Rubi said. “She feels like she has more friends because of her puppy. She is starting to open up a little bit more.”
Rubi added, “Jade needed something of comfort and that’s exactly what Sky is – a friend that she takes care of and, in turn, Sky takes cares of her. Now, Jade comes home from appointments and wants to play with Sky. To see that change is immensely heartwarming.”
Jade’s wish was granted by Make-A-Wish Michigan.