From becoming Batman for a day, to meeting a real, live mermaid, the Make-a-Wish foundation is famous for granting elaborate wishes. Across the country, children with life-threatening medical conditions have found a joyful escape in having their wishes granted. But, for one kid from Minneapolis, his Make-a-Wish dream literally came true.
One of the most heartwarming (and sometimes heartbreaking) aspects of what the Make-a-Wish foundation does is the way in which they make the impossible, possible. These children, who may not make it to adulthood, get to live out their fantasies with no holds barred. For some, this means entering an imaginary world in which superheroes, mermaids, and other fantastical creatures actually exist. For others it means getting to become the thing they’ve always wanted to be.
For Anthony Lickteig-Carter, that something he always wanted to be was a pilot. According to an article on babble.com, Anthony was born with gastroschisis, a condition that causes the stomach to form outside the body. From birth until the age of ten, his life was a series of surgeries, doctor visits, and tests. But there was one thing that kept him going. Airplanes.
Anthony told Babble, “Even though there was a lot of uncertainty and change back then, the only constant variable was my love for flying. It got me through all of it.” When not in the hospital, Anthony would often head to a spot near his home where he could watch the airplanes take off and land at the local airport.
Upon learning that he was selected by Make-a-Wish, Anthony knew exactly what he wanted to do. He told CBS Minnesota, “I can’t remember not wanting to be a pilot, I can’t remember it. I came out with aviators on, ready to rock and roll.” The foundation set him up with Northwest Airlines, which is now Delta. And for one magical day, he got to live out his dream. “They actually put me on flight, not in the flight deck though, but in first class, we flew to Milwaukee, got to, you know, talk with the pilots and I actually got to do the walk-around outside with him,” Anthony told CBS.
It was a wonderful day for a sick kid who dreamed of flying. But here’s the best part: Anthony got well again. And he never lost his love of flying or his desire to be a pilot. Which is exactly what he did! After rigorous training, Anthony landed a job as a pilot for SkyWest Airlines. And, according to Babble, he’s only 10 months away from making Captain. So, his wish actually came true.
Anthony told Babble that, in addition to fulfilling his dream of becoming a pilot, he is also committed to helping other children struggling with illness. He hopes to create a nonprofit specializing in helping ill children discover their true passions. Both Anthony and Make-a-Wish believe that finding something to hope for is an important part of helping children cope with their illness.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation vows to “grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve.” For Anthony Lickteig-Carter, that’s exactly what they did.