WAUKESHA (WITI) -- For children with life-threading medical conditions, a simple wish granted can provide hope, strength and joy. That is the mission of the Make-a-Wish Foundation. It grants wishes to hundreds of children in Wisconsin every year. Now, one of the area's biggest employers is helping grant even more in a very big way.
22-year-old Katie Ahnen has taken interest in the medical field after living her childhood with a serious genetic disorder.
“I was diagnosed when I was 4 years old with Cistinosis and my kidneys failed,” she said.
After several treatments and a kidney transplant, Ahnen is now a healthy college senior studying phlebotomy and nursing. Her education was made possible by the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin and the sponsorship of GE Healthcare.
“My wish was to go to college and Make-a-Wish paid for 2 years of my college tuition. If they didn't help me, I don't know what I would do with going to college and things like that,” said Ahnen.
“Make-a-Wish and GE together as proud partners are really thrilled to help launch her future,” said Make-a-Wish President Patti Gorsky.
Ahnen’s story was so inspiring that GE Healthcare's Molecular Imaging & Cat Scanner division (MICT) decided to help even more.
Not only did officials give Ahnen a tour of its x-ray factories Friday, but the company also donated $36,000 dollars to Make-a-Wish. Its employees helped raise the money through auctions and donations.
“When you can help challenged children get hope and excitement from something like this, it's a wonderful thing,” said GE Healthcare MICT President Steve Gray.
The generous donation will help grant wishes to at least six more children this year dealing with serious life-changing medical conditions, helping kids like Ahnen achieve dreams far beyond their years.
“A wish come true brings such different type of medicine during their really tough, dark times that they're going through,” said Gorsky.
“It makes me feel happy that wishes are getting granted,” said Ahnen.
Since Make-a-Wish of Wisconsin was founded in 1984, the foundation has been able to grant more than 4,700 wishes to kids with life-threatening medical conditions.