TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Make-A-Wish Southern Florida granted a wish Sunday morning in Tampa for a 9-year-old with muscular dystrophy.
Noah Bliss was surprised with a celebration where he showed off what he can do in the custom-made, all-terrain wheelchair he wished for. The boy’s new ride is his favorite color, orange, and has oversized tires giving him the power to climb hills, stairs, and cruise through sand or dirt.
Noah’s family recently moved to Florida from Chicago because the harsh winters made it impossible for Noah to be outside. The family loves outdoor activities that include the beach, camping, and fishing.
Noah has had to miss out on a lot of outdoor activities in the past, restricted by his traditional wheelchair, but not anymore. He is described as an independent child that loves to explore, so his new extreme wheelchair will enable him to do just that while participating in outdoor family activities.
This wish is not only special for Noah, but is also a milestone for Make-A-Wish Southern Florida (M.A.W.S.F.). The wish is the 13,000th granted by the chapter since 1983, making it just the fifth chapter in the world to grant that many life-changing experiences to critically ill children.
M.A.W.S.F. officials said wishes aren’t just nice. They’re necessary for kids and families at some of the most difficult times in their lives.
In their wishes, children most often “wish to be (something), wish to meet (someone), wish to go (somewhere), wish to have (something), or wish to give (to a cause)” and the nonprofit organization makes this happen for the child and his/her entire family at no cost or obligation. The organization aims to grant a wish for every medically eligible child in its territory.
The Southern Florida chapter’s territory includes 22 counties throughout four regions of the Tampa Bay area, on the Suncoast, and in southwest and southeast Florida. It also includes the U.S. Virgin Islands.
To donate to help make wishes come true for other children or to refer a child to have a wish granted, go to the Make-a-wish website.