Make-A-Wish sends Avery Morris and family to Hawaii

Thursday, October 24, 2013
Avery and sister Chloe enjoy surfing. Submitted photo

Early in September, third grader Avery Morris was granted her One True Wish through the Make-A-Wish Organization. This organization grants wishes to children all over the country with life-threatening diseases or disorders.

Avery was diagnosed a year ago on Oct. 15, 2012, with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Although she has been in clinical remission since last November, she has endured a lot over the last year and still has a long road of treatment ahead said her mother. Her last scheduled spinal tap/treatment is in February 2015.

In her interview with Make-A-Wish, Avery, a geography buff at heart, wished for a trip to Hawaii, her favorite of the 50 states, said mom Erin.

Make-A-Wish sent her and her family to Oahu, Hawaii, for a week of sun, sand, surfing, swimming, and simply soaking up all the island life.

"She had an absolutely awesome time and now seems to have a renewed sense of spirit that will hopefully stick with her through the next year and a half of chemo and spinal taps."

Avery celebrated her 9th birthday the day after she returned home from her trip. She requested donations to Make-A-Wish in lieu of birthday gifts from her family and friends this year and was able to send a check to the organization shortly after her trip.

Since starting the maintenance phase of treatment in early July, Avery has gained weight and energy, along with a headful of curly brown hair, all of which are helping her to feel a lot more like a normal 9-year-old girl said Erin.

She still has various chemo and medications to take at home daily, but her Children's Mercy visits have slowed down to once a month and she is getting the opportunity to be at school most every day this year.

In addition to her continued treatment and her busy extra-curricular schedule that includes volleyball, swimming and piano lessons, Avery and her family try to stay actively involved in cancer awareness and fundraising activities throughout the area.

Over the summer, she walked as a survivor in the Relay for Life event and sold lemonade with Kelly Ast at the Farmers' Market for Alex's Lemonade Stand (an organization that raises funds specifically for childhood cancer research.)

Last week, Avery and her YMCA volleyball team attended the NHS Lady Tigers "Dig for a Cure" night.

Avery bid on items at the auction and donated money to the Relay for Life, Vernon County Cancer Relief and NHS Stand Up to Cancer organizations. She and her family have plans to run in the upcoming Nov. 9 Fun Color Run, sponsored by the NRTC DECA group. A portion of the entry fee will be donated to the Stand Up to Cancer Foundation.

For more information on this run, contact Martha Cubbage at the Nevada Regional Technical School.

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