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Community Joins Forces to Help Willow’s Wish Come True

CUMBERLAND, R.I. (April 12, 2021) – A Wish Come True, the oldest wish granting organization in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, was pleased to help Willow’s wish come true in partnership with many exceptional, local organizations. 

Diagnosed in February 2020 with a disease called Systemic Scleroderma, Willow has not lived the life of a normal teenager.  The incurable rare disease causes hardening of the skin and connective tissues that can lead to failure of major organs such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, and esophagus. Willow has been receiving weekly treatments at Boston Children’s Hospital where she became eligible to receive a Wish from A Wish Come True. Willow thought long and hard about taking a trip to Florida with her family, but she felt “it would be over too soon,” said her mother, Holli.  “She wanted something that would last a lifetime, and she chose to renovate the basement into her own hang out room so her friends could come visit like any 17-year-old girl would want.”

A Wish Come True began planning. “It was easy for us since Willow knew exactly what she wanted and where she wanted it,” said Nicole White, Director of Program Services for A Wish Come True. “It was just about coordinating our efforts.” Mary-Kate O’Leary, Executive Director of A Wish Come True, then reached out to CertainTeed Roofing, an affiliate of Saint Gobain, and asked if they were interested in helping to grant the wish. They were excited to participate: “Willow is an inspiring young lady. We are honored to be able to contribute to this renovation and help make her wish come true,” said Emma O’Donnell, Human Resources Supervisor, CertainTeed Roofing.

Additional support was also received from our friends at the Carpenter’s Union Local #330, who generously donated their time to help refinish the basement. “Being able to use our skills to help bring Willow’s Wish to life has been so rewarding, we are proud to lend our time and effort to make this young woman’s life better,” said Scott Legault, Project Lead, L330.

Coventry Lumber also donated lumber, and volunteers from CertainTeed helped decorate and apply the finishing touches to help Willow’s Dream come true.

“Really, this is what it is all about,” added O’Leary. “This young girl has an incurable disease and the community wanted to help. No diagnosis is easy to accept but Willow has been remarkable and is so deserving of this special wish, it was our honor to help.”

Willow and her family are also able to receive additional resources from A Wish Come True as they continue to adjust to this difficult diagnosis. Support includes relaxation passes at Raffa Yoga, Support Groups with other Wish Families, and a supportive ear when someone needs to listen.

To learn more about how you can support a wish kid and their family, please visit our website


A Wish Come True, Inc. is a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization founded on October 8, 1982.  We are the oldest wish granting organization in RI and MA.  Our mission is to provide wishes and resources to families with a child (ages 3-18), suffering with a life-threatening illness that live throughout Rhode Island and Southeastern MA.


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