CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Shouts and applause from Veterans Memorial High School’s cheer team, football team, and band greeted 5-year-old Caleb Medrano as he approached La Palmera Mall.
On Saturday, Caleb, who has leukemia, got his wish of a shopping spree granted by the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and his family said this day has been on his mind for a while.
“He was very happy to be on this day. He was counting everyday until today and well, he’s enjoying it,” his father Manuel Medrano said.
Corpus Christi's Chick-Fil-A on Saratoga raised money for the shopping spree, and other stores like the Great American Cookie Company and Bourbon Street Candy Company gave Caleb free products.
Robert Marraro, a wish granter at the Make-a-Wish Foundation, said kids are not chosen, but rather the kids approach the foundation, saying they don’t turn any kid with a chronic or life-threatening illness away.
“We like to say with Make-a-Wish, once a wish child, always a wish child, so it’s one of these things where the children…even though their wish may have been completed, they’re always a part of the Make-a-Wish family,” Marraro said.
Leanna Sembrano is also a wish granter with Make-a-Wish, and Saturday was her first day seeing someone get their wish granted. She said she chose to volunteer because her cousin volunteers and posts about it on Facebook. She said it was emotional to see what Caleb is going through in order to become a Make-a-Wish kid, but it is worth volunteering her time to see him smile.
“Just seeing it makes you happy. It just sparks something in your heart that makes it nice and warm,” Sembrano said.
Caleb also got to go shop at Target and Best Buy.