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“People are just amazing:” Annual Walk for Wishes 5K raises $250,000

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Walk for Wishes

MILWAUKEE -- Making wishes come true, that's what thousands of people helped do Saturday, August 26th. It was part of the walk for wishes 5K at the Summerfest grounds.

Taking the stage - Athena Banks, and her mom, make a big announcement to thousands of people. Athena is a 'Wish Kid'. After being diagnosed with leukemia in 2015, and losing her father shortly after, they reached out to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for help turning a dream into reality: going to Paris.

Athena Banks

Walk for Wishes

"Paris was beautiful. It's just such a different culture and the people are just amazing," Athena's older sister Araceli Mercer said.

500 children get diagnosed with some type of terminal illness every year in Wisconsin. Events like "Walk for Wishes" raise money to help make their dreams possible.

"It's a very humbling feeling, and it's absolutely wonderful to be able to make such a positive difference," Patti Gorsky from Make-A-Wish Wisconsin said.

Walk for Wishes

It took over 15 minutes for the final team to cross the starting line before they began their walk.

Walk for Wishes

Walk for Wishes

"You got to look at the bright side of everything because there's no point in living in sadness or fear," Mercer said.

"To have that same experience we had, and after everything they went through, there's that little bit of time they'll be able to just be a kid," Athena's mom Hilaria Guzman said.

It's no fairy tale story, wishes really do come true. It costs roughly $10,000 to make a single wish happen. And Saturday's Walk for Wishes event raised $250-thousand. And by next week, the Wisconsin Make-A-Wish Foundation will have granted their 400th wish this year.

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