Making Spirits Bright

Christmas has come a little early for Flower Mound sixth grader Baden Combs, who will be taking a Disney cruise with his family as part of a wish granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The Lamar Middle School student, who suffers from Muscular Dystrophy, was awarded his wish at a surprise ceremony last Wednesday in the school cafeteria.

Combs was selected by the foundation to do whatever he so chose, and Manu Shahi, a volunteer with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, was able to help him make his wish come true.

“We get emails requesting wishes, and I like to choose kids that are local,” Shahi said. “Baden happened to be in Flower Mound. Make-A-Wish got in touch with me and gave me all the paperwork and I met with his family. Baden was pretty adamant that he wanted to go on a cruise.”

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to children with life-threatening conditions, and usually gives youngsters four options for their wish: they can go somewhere, they can meet someone, they can be someone they have always wanted to be for a day or they can have something.

Shahi, who is also director at Kumon Math and Reading Center of Highland Village, said this is an important issue for her because she has been affected personally through her daughter Janvi.

“I’m a Wish Mom myself,” Shahi said. “My daughter is a two time [Leukemia] survivor, and her wish was granted by Make-A-Wish, and she has raised $50,000 for Make-A-Wish herself by selling her paintings, so we are totally connected.”

Dallin Combs, Baden’s father, said he, Baden and his wife, Sarah, were moved by the gift Baden received.

“It’s a great opportunity for him and for us,” Dallin Combs said. “When they asked him, he said he wanted to take a family vacation. A family vacation is not something that we have been able to do the last couple of years, and he just wanted to do something fun with his family.

“The fact that there are people out there generous enough to make donations to an organization like Make-A-Wish is really touching.”

Combs said Baden was caught a little off guard at the ceremony where his wish was announced, but said he is really looking forward to his trip with his family.

“Baden doesn’t really like to be the center of attention,” Combs said. “I wouldn’t say he is shy, but he certainly does not like to be in the spotlight…he didn’t look up. He seemed a little embarrassed, and because of that, he didn’t even see his parents standing about 10 feet from him. It was a lot of fun.”

The Combs family will be headed to Orlando for their Disney cruise in January.


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