WAYNE, N.J. – Tina McCabe of Wayne didn’t know her son wanted to visit Hawaii.
But that is what Daniel, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last April, requested from the Make-A-Wish Foundation – which has a mission to bring hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions.
“He said, ‘I kind of thought that that was something that we all would really, really enjoy,'” his mom recalled.
And they certainly did. In January, the 8th-grader and his family were sent to Hawaii, where they snorkeled, zip-lined, star-gazed through telescopes and whale-watched, she said.
Daniel finished his treatment in July, and his follow-ups “have been excellent,” his mom said.
“Needless to say, it was a pretty stressful year and we were all happy to put 2016 behind us and start 2017 out really doing something fun and together,” she said.
Daniel’s wish was one of 483 granted by Make-A-Wish New Jersey last year, according to Tom Weatherall, president and chief executive officer of Make-A-Wish New Jersey.
“Our goal for 2017 is even more ambitious - to find and grant the wishes of well over 500 New Jersey children,” Weatherall said.
To help achieve that goal, 53 Jersey Mike's Subs restaurants throughout the state -- including ones in Wayne, East Rutherford, Rochelle Park, Emerson, Northvale and Ramsey -- are taking part in a fundraising campaign this month.
The campaign’s high-point is its “Day of Giving” on Wednesday, March 29, when 100 percent of the day’s sales will go toward Make-A-Wish.
“We have had a great turnout today,” said Matt Catania, as he sat at a table at the Jersey Mike's Subs on Hamburg Turnpike in Wayne. Catania owns the restaurant, and 11 others, including another in Wayne and one in East Rutherford. “We expect a huge dinner rush,” he said.
Chris Rigassio, who owns seven franchises, including ones in Rochelle Park and Emerson was also on hand. “To be a part of a big organization, you can really change a lot of lives. You can impact a lot of kids,” he said.
For a list of participating restaurants, CLICK HERE.