Greenville, SC – There are a lot of things to know about 11-year-old Cole Carroll.
Cole Carroll is pictured with the cast of the Nickelodeon television show Game Shakers on the show’s set in California.
He loves to meet new people. He loves music, particularly The Beach Boys. And his favorite show is Game Shakers on Nickelodeon.
His dad, Doug Carroll, says Cole has a memory “like an elephant.”
“He knows the episode names and can tell you details of what happened in each one,” Doug told The Greenville News. “He watches celebrity interviews and knows all about the cast.”
For Cole, the show is a distraction from his continuous medical care.
Cole has the nervous disorder Spina bifida as well as vocal cord paralysis. As a result of his conditions, he is on a ventilator and cannot walk or talk. He speaks through a communication device.
“From 7 to 9 p.m. (when the Nickelodeon shows air) are very active times for Cole medically,” Doug says. “He and his mom watch the shows while they are accomplishing tasks.”
It came as no surprise that when Cole was granted a wish through Make-A-Wish South Carolina, he asked to meet the cast of his favorite show. The family flew to Los Angeles to meet the cast of Game Shakers and were able to watch the filming of another of Cole’s favorite Nickelodeon shows, Henry Danger. The trip impacted the entire family.
“We had never been able to take a family vacation,” says his mom Laura. “It was enriching for all of us. We reminisce daily about our time in LA. It was remarkable.”
For Cole, there were many aspects of the trip that were a dream come true. From the time he boarded the airplane at Greenville–Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) to the time he returned home, Cole was treated like a celebrity.
“It was a big deal,” says Doug. “We weren’t your typical travels, in that we traveled with a lot of equipment. The stewardesses and flight crew bent over backwards to make sure we were comfortable. The pilot even came on to recognize Cole as a VIP.”
While in LA, the family stayed within walking distance of Hollywood Boulevard. They were transported in a wheelchair assessable van. Cole and his 13-year-old brother Ethan were able to meet and communicate with the entire cast, take pictures and see filming of other shows.
“The cast was mostly young teens,” Doug says. “When Cole met them, they talked about how they as actors go through school. Since Cole has special circumstances for school, hearing about their schooling was very significant for him.”
The entire experience was a dream come true.
“It is something he talks about every day,” Doug says. “It is not uncommon for him to say, ‘I can’t believe this happened. All of these people know who I am!’”
Cole is one of many children whose wishes have been granted through Make-A-Wish South Carolina. Last year alone, the organization granted wishes to 184 children across the state. Fifty-nine of those children were in the Upstate.
“Granting a wish is so much more than just a nice thing,” says Crystal Alifanow, communications and community relations manager for Make-A-Wish South Carolina. “It is a deeply impactful and life changing thing.”
Sunday 29th April 2018 is World Wish Day. While the organization is able to grant many wishes for children, there is still a critical need for funding.
“Every year, approximately 400 South Carolina children are diagnosed with critical illnesses,” Alifanow says. “It is our ultimate vision to grant the wish of every eligible child. The average cost to grant a wish is $7,500.”
There are many ways that we all can help.
“Wish granting is not just for terminal patients,” says Alifanow. “Some are terminal, but many beat the odds and go on to live healthy lives. Wish granting provides renewed strength and energy and gives them the strength to recover.”
For more information about Make-A-Wish South Carolina and to donate, please visit http://sc.wish.org/.
Additional source: Wikipedia.