The Make-A-Wish Foundation, each year, helps many terminally ill children realize their hopes and dreams as they fight for their lives.
Little ones battling deadly diseases have had the opportunities to meet their heroes and go to places they’ve always wanted to go throughout the organization’s history. But for one 6-year-old boy named Levi Mayhew, his wish had nothing to do with visiting Disneyland or meeting John Cena.
Instead, he wanted to do something nice for his hero: 10-year-old Emma Broyer.
Levi suffers from a genetic disorder on the Zellweger spectrum, and doctors do not believe he will live to the age of eight. Rebecca Drake, Levi’s mom, said the family wasn’t even sure if he could see anymore in comments to Indiana’s Reporter-Times. He can no longer walk, talk, or sit up, but Emma was one of the few people who could bring him genuine joy.
Since Emma knew of Levi and his condition, the family said she’d been so kind to him, writing him letters of encouragement and asking her friends to do the same.
They had attended the same school at the time of Levi’s diagnosis, and, Drake said, Emma could always manage “to make her son smile,” the Essential Kids website notes.
When Levi was given the opportunity through Make-A-Wish to do anything he wanted, he and his family transferred that wish to Emma and her family.
They also threw Emma a surprise party to reveal the good news.
“The party was completely a surprise to Emma,” Rebecca said. “When she came into the restaurant, she saw all of her friends and family and was seemingly confused until she saw Levi.”
Rebecca said that Emma “quickly came to his side, held his hand and said ‘Hi Levi! It’s me, Emma!'”
“Levi was overwhelmed and crying prior to her arrival, but he calmed down as soon as he heard her voice…. After dinner, we told Emma that we had a shirt for her. When she opened it, the words on the shirt were ‘Levi wished for ME to go to Disney!!!’ Levi had a coordinating shirt that said ‘I wished for Emma to go to Disney!!'”
Levi was in no position to go with Emma and her family, but Emma found what was probably the most adorable way of fixing that problem. She took a printout of Levi with her and carried it around wherever she went when she and the family got to Florida.
The family sent a photo of the cutout (see above), and they also “made a scrapbook” for the family to enjoy.
“It felt so good to give back to this little girl. Emma had given so much to us without even realizing it,” Rebecca said. “It’s a very warm feeling to know that another child loves and cares so much for your child, especially while facing the challenges stacked against us.”
While this Make-A-Wish story doesn’t follow the usual narrative, it may be one of the most touching I’ve ever heard. Good job, Emma and Levi, for showing us all how to live.