A Special Maryland Teen Gets His Wish

By Robyn Larso

WALDEN, N.Y. (June 5, 2008) – A remarkable teenager from Chestertown, Md. recently received a very special gift. Marshall, a truly courageous teen who is battling a brain tumor, was honored in a special ceremony in the center of town in Walden, N.Y. and presented with his extraordinary gift: his newly restored 1992 Dodge Dakota. The complete truck makeover, Marshall’s one wish, was made possible by Kids Wish Network, an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.

On hand to honor Marshall and be a part of his big day was Walden Mayor, Becky Pearson, who delivered a proclamation to him on behalf of the city of Walden. Sponsors of Marshall’s wish, which included Nub from Nub Grafix and Dickie Baxter and Levi Masker from People Hookin’ Up Cars also attended to present Marshall with his truck. The group played no small part in his wish: each went above and beyond in ensuring the truck was everything Marshall had dreamed of and more. In addition, a crowd of well over a hundred people including family, friends and well-wishers showed up to be a part of his big day.

The events of this amazing day have their roots in a simple wish made by a brave teen fighting cancer.

In January of 2008, Marshall was diagnosed with stage IV glioblastoma multiforme. His mother, Melinda, learned about Kids Wish Network and submitted his name to the charity. After completing the application process, both mother and son were delighted to learn that Marshall did indeed qualify.

Marshall’s Kids Wish Network wish coordinator, Vanessa Covolo, was in charge of making his wish come true. When she asked him what he wanted most for his wish, Marshall didn’t hesitate, he wanted his 1992 Dodge Dakota restored.

While Vanessa’s job is making wishes come true, she can’t do it without help; and there were plenty of people who wanted to do just that.

Not only was Vanessa able to arrange to have the exterior of Marshall’s truck restored, she was also able to get the interior done as well, complete with beautiful new upholstery and XM Satellite Radio. Pitching in to donate their time and services were companies from all over the New York area eager to be a part of making Marshall’s wish come true.

Surrounded by people excited to meet him and who have been inspired by his story, Marshall was overwhelmed when he first saw his newly restored truck. The crowd cheered and many shed tears as they watched his face light up. It was truly a day no one will soon forget. “It was terrific,” said Melinda. “We made a lot of new friends. He was excited and overwhelmed. It was a whole menagerie of emotions!”

She was incredibly grateful to all of the sponsors, Vanessa and Kids Wish Network for making it all happen. “Vanessa did just a great job. It really feels like everyone is family now. It was more than we ever expected!”

Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children. If you know a child between the ages of 3 and 18 who may be in need of its wish granting services, please call 727-937-3600 or toll free 888-918-9004. For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit their website at www.kidswishnetwork.org.

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