Grayson’s Story – ‘I wish to visit my favourite theme park’

Grayson, age 12, metabolic disorder. Submitted photo.

Grayson, age 12, metabolic disorder

Grayson’s passion is karate and he’s in the process of earning his brown belt. The 12-year-old loves most sports and learned how to paddleboard this summer. His parents, Wayne and Chad, say Grayson is a “rock start at heart” because of his love for music. Grayson is currently bobbing his head to rap but has amassed a swoonworthy collection of vintage rock, jazz and country albums.

Grayson was only four days old when he underwent open heart surgery to correct a rare defect. Immediately after, Grayson was diagnosed with maple syrup urine disease, a rare but serious metabolic disease. It means his body cannot process certain amino acids (the “building blocks” of protein), causing a harmful build-up of amino acids in the blood — every single food is potentially toxic to his brain. Since the diagnosis, Grayson must follow a scientifically controlled diet with weekly trips to the hospital to analyze his blood levels. “Our daily goal is to prevent him from brain damage and each day is a fine line,” said Wayne.

Grayson, age 12, metabolic disorder. Submitted photo.

Getting on an airplane and traveling somewhere far from home was always a dream for Grayson. “Grayson has ALWAYS wanted to travel,” Wayne said. “Unfortunately, we are limited as it’s important for us to have as much access to, and close control of, his medical care.” With the assistance of Make-A-Wish, Grayson was finally able to visit his favourite theme park in Florida last spring. “Grayson was very aware this was a special ‘event’ in his life,” Wayne said. “The impact of his wish was huge; to be able to provide him an experience and show him the generosity of others and how it can change a life if only momentarily are invaluable lessons.”

Hope is essential for children with critical illnesses, and its life-changing power is unlocked when wishes like Grayson’s are granted. Together we can continue to transform lives, one wish at a time.

Hope is essential for children with critical illnesses and you can unlock its life-changing power.