Make-A-Wish to connect kidney patient with Bon JoviWritten by Pamela Crabtree | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cole Kwapich, 10, the son of Brian and Christen Kwapich of Springfield Township, will have his wish come true when he meets his idol, singer Jon Bon Jovi, this summer. Cole, who suffers from end stage renal disease, is receiving his wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
When the fourth grader at Crissey Elementary School received word his wish had been granted, he said, “I’m happy and psyched” and that the trip will be a “sweet one.” When he first heard Bon Jovi on disc he said, “Dude, this is impossible, who can sing this well? He’s an awesome singer and the best in the world.”
When he meets his idol, Cole plans on shaking Bon Jovi’s hand and saying to him, “Are you the legendary Bon Jovi? I’ve been looking forward to meeting you all my life.” When asked why he didn’t choose going to Disneyland, he responded “you can go to Disneyland or Nickelodeon anytime, but you can’t always see Bon Jovi.”
Bon Jovi, 48, has been performing since the early 1980s and is no stranger to helping people and charities. He is the founder of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to “bringing about positive change and helping the lives of those in need one soul at a time,” according to its website.
The Northwestern Ohio Make-A-Wish Chapter located at 405 Madison Ave. in Toledo will coordinate Cole’s out-of-state trip to meet Bon Jovi. Kimberly Ray, wish manager, said, “We grant between 75-80 wishes a year. Each week there are children being qualified and every qualified child will receive a wish.” Ray said children “are referred by their parent’s medical professional or sometimes the child themselves. They are qualified by their doctor.”
Christen said “we waited until Cole was older before contacting Make-A-Wish so he could decide what wish he wanted.” Brian said “the initial request was made on January 29 and once the doctors approved everything and forms were completed it went fast. Cole was assigned two volunteers and they came out to the house and interviewed him.”
Cole was born without functioning kidneys and spent most of his infant and toddler years in and out of the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. He has undergone 24 surgeries. When he was 20 months old and able to accommodate an adult kidney, his uncle Christopher Kwapich was a match and donated a kidney to Cole. Christen said, “Cole has had two bouts of rejection and gotten through them and reversed both rejections. The last rejection was a year ago.”
Brian said, “Cole takes seven different medications a day and some are twice a day.”
When asked how he is feeling physically, Cole said, “pretty nice and comfortable and when I grow up I’m going to be a rock star like Bon Jovi, have a rock band and a RV and travel to L.A. because that’s where you go to start your career.”
Ray said if anyone knows of a child who may qualify for the program, call her at (419) 244-9474 or e-mail her at email@example.com.