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Experiencing Joy in the Midst of Grief: Make-A-Wish Partnership Holds Special Connection for Jerod Long

For Jerod Long, a residential sales consultant with Knochelmann Service Experts, the company’s partnership with Make-A-Wish is personal. Jerod, his wife Candice and his two sons have experienced the power of a wish firsthand.

When his son Jude was 18 months old, doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital discovered a baseball size tumor on his brain stem. After enduring emergency surgery and one year of intense chemotherapy, Jude was stabilized and referred to Make-A-Wish.

At the age of three, Jude knew he wanted to “see Mickey and dolphins” and his wish was granted. In 2017, the Long family enjoyed an amazing seven-day trip to the Walt Disney World® Resort. Jerod recalls that the highlights of the trip included a limo ride and all-access lanyards that gave his family the royal treatment throughout their trip. The boys enjoyed ice cream for breakfast at Give Kids the World and priority access to all rides and attractions at Disney World and Universal Studios.

“Families who receive wishes have dealt with the deepest stress and grief imaginable,” said Jerod. “Our trip really put the wind back in our sails and gave us the strength to get back on track.”

Today, Jude is a resilient, fearless six-year-old with an incredible sense of humor who is enjoying a great quality of life with his family and friends.

A special thank you to Disney for the donation of theme park tickets for this wish and more than 130,000 worldwide since 1980.