RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — This year 8News is once again a proud sponsor of the Greater Richmond Walk for Wishes. It raises money to grant wishes to kids battling life-threatening conditions across our region, like Ethan Hamilton.
Hamilton had a pretty rough road the first few years of his life.
“He spent more time in the hospital than he did at home,” says his mom Laura Hamilton.
The now six-year-old was born six weeks early and needed ten surgeries for birth defects associated with his ATRX Syndrome and Mitochondrial Disease.
“It’s tough on families when you have a child with a chronic illness,” Laura says. “He’s a joy to our family and a joy to everyone he meets. So we fight for him.”
When Ethan was four-years-old, the Hamiltons learned he would get a wish.
“What did you tell them you wanted to do? Where did you want to go?” Laura asked her son. “Mickey!” Ethan said with excitement. “Mickey’s house, that’s right. We did go to Mickey’s house,” Laura explained.
The trip to Disney World in August 2013 was a dream for not only Ethan but his brother, two sisters, dad and mom.
“I can’t tell you what I had for breakfast yesterday, but I can tell you every single moment of our make a wish trip,” Laura says. “It was an opportunity for us to be together as a family and not be interrupted with hospital visits or doctor’s visits or in home therapy. It was a time for us to bond and reconnect.”
Knowing just how priceless this gift was, the Hamiltons will be at the Walk for Wishes to give back to other families who need a break from their battles.
“You feel like you can’t breathe, you’re drowning or you’re being kicked in the stomach multiple times, you just can’t get that breath of fresh air. Make A Wish did that for us.”
You can help young patients like Ethan by joining the 8News team for the Walk for Wishes on Saturday, May 2 at Stony Point Fashion park. 8News Anchor Amy Lacey will be the event emcee. It begins at 9 a.m.