How It Started
In late 2013, Reece was granted a wish from Make-A-Wish. He spent hours thinking of all the possibilities…a ride on Air Force One, a day with a famous magician in Las Vegas or maybe be in attendance for the grand opening of Harry Potter World at Universal Orlando. Ultimately, Reece wished for Pete Nelson, TV host of Treehouse Masters, to build him a treehouse. But not just any treehouse. This one was to be 2 stories tall with a “Harry Potter” theme. It would include a theater projection screen, a bathroom and plenty of space to relax with his friends when he wanted to escape for a while.
Need vs. Want
While going through his treatments, Reece’s Dad committed to take Reece on the vacation of his choice once cleared by the doctors to travel. Just like the Wish, Reece thought of many possibilities. He chose a Disney Cruise and in October of 2013, he set sail. During the cruise, Reece and his Dad got an email from Make-A-Wish on the progress of his “Treehouse Wish.” It turns out that 3 other children had asked for the same wish and the producers of the show were asking some follow-up questions to determine the feasibility of each request. It was obvious to Reece that Treehouse Masters couldn’t grant 4 wishes at once and if he was selected to receive a Pete Nelson treehouse that meant another child would not.
Reece asked his Dad what he should do. His Dad replied, “Reece, we are on a Disney Cruise, which is most children’s’ wish and we want a treehouse, but we don’t need one. Maybe you can think about how to use your wish to help others.” There was silence in the air. Reece then asked, “You mean give up my treehouse?” His Dad responded, “Reece, we have been very fortunate. We are on a fantastic vacation together and the support we have received from our community has been overwhelming. Maybe it’s time we think about how to help others facing this same battle.”
After much thought, Reece altered his wish. He made a list of things he wanted to improve for children and families battling pediatric cancer. The list included improvements to patient rooms and common areas of hospitals, support for Make-A-Wish to help grant more wishes and funding research to help find a cure for cancer. He decided to use his wish to help others and asked Make-A-Wish if they would help him raise $1 Million to help give hope and support to others battling pediatric cancer! They agreed and “Reece’s Wish to Raise $1 Million” was born.