Born with congenital heart disease, Steven and his family lived in fear of the day when his heart would cease to function. At 16 years old, doctor’s told the family it was time to take action, Steven needed open heart surgery.
Just weeks before his surgery, Steven met with wish granters who unleashed his imagination. Rather than focusing on the risks of anesthesia or the impact of the surgery on his competitive tennis career, Steven envisioned trips to far-off lands. One month later—after a successful surgery—Steven announced his decision: a trip to Dubai to see the towering skyscrapers, expansive deserts and maybe even ride a camel.
His wish included all that and more. A tour of the desert featured an adrenaline-packed quad bike race, sandboarding and the chance to learn about the Bedouin culture while riding a camel. The next day, Steven left the heat behind to explore the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East. For an entire week, the family thought of nothing but Dubai’s awe-inspiring combination of deep traditions and modern splendor.
After returning to Connecticut, the family stopped by Make-A-Wish Connecticut to share a slideshow of their favorite photos. Steven’s mom said it best, “[It] was the trip of a lifetime.”