|Wish granted for Lebanon's Zac Anderson|
|Thursday, January 10, 2013|
By SABRINA GARRETT
For a child faced with a life-threatening illness, a moment of normalcy is a dream come true. Middle Tennessee Make-A-Wish and Franklin American Mortgage took it a step further by granting one young man’s wish and allowing him to be an honorary team captain during the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.
Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee CEO Beth Torres said the story of Zac Anderson, of Mt. Juliet, began with a trip to The Wilson Post. Torres said she was visiting with Publisher Sam Hatcher when she learned about the Friendship Christian student suffering from Lymphoma. “Sam helped the Zac get referred and Make-A-Wish started working with the family,” she said.
Anderson’s wish was to see a Dallas Mavericks game and have the opportunity to meet the players. Torres said that he and his family will have the opportunity this March. Make-A-Wish funds the trip, including travel, hotel and dining expenses for the child, their parents and any siblings under the age of 18 living at the residence. “It is so refreshing to give a child something to talk about other than illnesses and treatments. They get a scary diagnosis that changes their entire life – and through Make-A-Wish we give them part of their normal life back.”
Make-A-Wish is made possible through local funding. “Support comes from individuals and businesses who want to make a difference in the lives of sick kids,” she added. Franklin American Mortgage recently teamed up with Make-A-Wish and decided to make the announcement during Bowl Week.
“It was a perfect match, Zac is a big sports fan and Franklin American is behind one of the largest sporting events in town,” Torres said. Throughout the weekend, Zac attended all official Franklin American Music City Bowl events including the Welcome Dinner, Coaches Brunch, and Battle of the Bands.Zac had the opportunity to meet Vanderbilt’s Coach Franklin and NC State’s Coach Bible.Franklin American Mortgage made sure Zac was part of the event, not just a spectator.For the game, he was named honorary captain of both teams and stepped onto the field for the coin toss.
“Our company extends beyond just the walls of our offices,” President and CEO of Franklin American Mortgage Dan Crockett said. “We strongly believe in giving back to the communities we serve and are honored to work with a first class organization like Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee. Zac Anderson exemplifies the word courageous and we were thrilled to have him as our honorary captain during Bowl Week.”
Make-A-Wish is also in the process of granting a wish for Zac’s sister, Gracie, who has Spina Bifida, and wants to take her family on a cruise.
“Many kids out there don’t know they are eligible for a wish through our program. We know that if a kid gets to say ‘I wish to do something’ – they start thinking long-term. They aren’t wrapped up in the monotony of these treatments. It is spiritual healing,” Torres said.
To find out if a loved one is eligible for a wish, go to middletennessee.wish.org to the Refer A Child tab.