DENVER (CBS4) – Make-A-Wish Colorado has been providing amazing wishes for children with critical illnesses since 1983. It’s Walk for Wishes & 5K Run presented by Barks on Broadway Doggie Daycare is a key fundraiser for the organization to pay for those wishes. This year’s fundraising goal is $110,000.

Greyson Saunders, 9, and his parents.

Greyson Saunders, 9, and his parents. (credit Amber Saunders)

Greyson Saunders, 9, just recently got his wish granted by Make-A-Wish Colorado. In June, he and his family went to Hawaii to swim with the dolphins. Greyson, his parents, and his two older siblings got a life changing trip to Honolulu, Hawaii that included getting nose-to-nose with a dolphin, some beach time, a trip to Pearl Harbor, and an authentic luau.

“It was the best time of my life,” Greyson said in a homemade video chronicling the trip.

Greyson swimming with the dolphins.

Greyson swimming with the dolphins. (credit Amber Saunders)

The trip was a much needed respite for the family after nearly two years of isolation and medical uncertainty. Greyson got sick when he was 7 years old. He was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease that attacks the liver. He spent more than a month in the hospital. While he was recovering, Greyson’s bone marrow started to fail making him very susceptible to ordinary infections. He lived in insolation while he waited for a bone marrow transplant, he couldn’t go to school, he couldn’t even go outside. Once he got the transplant, Greyson had to remain in isolation while his immune system rebuilt itself. The trip to Hawaii was the first vacation the family had had in several years.

Greyson getting a bone marrow transplant.

Greyson getting a bone marrow transplant. (credit Amber Saunders)

Greyson’s mom, Amber, told CBS4 that the nurses got him thinking about his wish early on in his treatment. It was  a way to distract him, and give him something positive to work towards. Early on, he decided that swimming with the dolphins was exactly what he wanted to do.

(credit: CBS)

Now the Saunders family is excited to give back to the organization that gave so much to them. They will be walking at Walk for Wishes & 5K Run, and are encouraging everyone to join them.

LINK: Register for Walk for Wish & 5K Run

Walk for Wishes & 5K Run presented by Barks on Broadway Doggie Daycare is Saturday, Oct. 26 at Hudson Gardens. Participants can either do the 5K or a 1-mile run/walk. There is also a fun run for little kids, and a Family Fun Zone with music, face painting, costumed characters, arts & crafts, and yard games.

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