Michigan boy gets Yellowstone wish granted

This summer, Zachary Sheehan and his family will be packing their camping gear as they head to Yellowstone National Park — Zachary’s dream come true.

Zachary’s wish was granted through a generous donation by Mainstay Capital Management to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. Zachary is an 11-year-old boy from Plymouth, Michigan living with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy. 

Along with his dad, grandfather and brother, Zachary will be staying at Hibernation Station in West Yellowstone. They will be doing a lot of sightseeing as well as attending a "Chuck Wagon Cookout." Zachary said he chose this wish because he thinks Yellowstone is a beautiful place and has always wanted to visit it. Plus, he said he can’t wait to see all the animals!

This wish couldn’t come at a better time, as Zachary and his family will be able to set the complications of their everyday life aside and concentrate on being a family.

David Kudla, CEO of Mainstay Capital Management (pictured above with Zachary), recently presented Zachary with a backpack filled with all the camping essentials including binoculars, granola bars, compass, water bottle, bug spray and sunscreen.

"Zachary’s wish is a perfect example of the simple joy that can come from taking in nature’s beauty and spending quality time outdoors," Kudla said. "I was so touched by his enthusiasm and appreciation for one of our nation’s most spectacular national parks. I am very excited for Zachary and his family and am grateful for the opportunity to make his wish come true."

Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy is the most common and most destructive form of muscular dystrophy. The cells that make up the muscle tissue are continuously dying. These cells are in turn consumed and digested by the body’s own protective cells (much the same way bacteria are). Eventually, this leads to a progressive wasting away of all process of continual repair. Currently, there is no known treatment or cure for the disease. Although children may undergo intense physical therapy, many will have problems with basic movements such as getting up off the floor, getting out of a chair, climbing, etc. As a result, many children will have walking aids such as crutches, braces or wheelchairs.

Since its inception in 1984, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan — a chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America — has brought joy into the lives of thousands of people in our Michigan community through its important wish-granting mission. This year Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan celebrates its 26th birthday.
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My family (wife and three kids, sometimes the dog) and I have been RV campers since 2007. We own a 2000 Trail-Lite B22 Bantam hybrid, our tow vehicle is a 2006 Trailblazer LT EXT (5.3 V8 with 3.73 Rear Axle Ratio), and our setup includes the Equalizer sway controller. Looking to upgrade the camper in the near future, but until then we get out 2-3 times a month in season.