Wish mom, Alicon recalls, “My husband, Chris and I had the perfect pregnancy…I mean, literally no hiccups. But, everything was not perfect upon Tanner’s arrival..."
Tanner was born with a portion of his heart underdeveloped, and he was blue. We soon learned that Tanner would need a series of three heart surgeries, the first to be done within one week. Our world as we knew it was completely shattered, to say the least. Tanner was immediately prepared for transport to the NICU at UMC, where he would remain until his first surgery on day six of life. We did not get those most cherished moments of holding our firstborn, taking pictures with him, making lasting memories, etc.”
Tanner is now 10 years old and has undergone three heart surgeries, with his last one performed in Washington DC at three-years old. In addition to his heart condition he was diagnosed with a rare chromosome abnormality that has caused Tanner severe cognitive and speech delays. He was diagnosed with Autism and has remained non-verbal.
When determining, Tanners wish, his parents did not take the task lightly. They researched and brain stormed all possibilities for what Tanner’s greatest wish or dream would be, since he could not communicate with them. Alicon and Chris chose for Tanner’s wish to be a service dog. Benny was introduced to Tanner last fall and has a wonderful relationship with Tanner. Tanner not only has formed a close bond with Benny, he sleeps with him and attends school with him.
“If I could go back and individually thank each and every person who helped make Tanner’s wish become a reality. I would do it in a heartbeat. We feel forever indebted to Make-A-Wish and those that fund this amazing mission, “ said Alicon.