HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) - Hundreds of people walked around the Holyoke Mall Sunday to make children's wishes come true.
Whether it's meeting Mickey Mouse or dancing with Elmo, Make A Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island's goal is to grant wishes to all children who face life-threatening medical conditions. And with Walk for Wishes they are able to make those dreams come true one at a time.
Kolleen Barlow of Russell told 22News her daughter Erica had her wish granted in 2012.
She said "Erica didn't really get the jist of having a limo pick her up. She truly glowed. They rolled out a red carpet, and she was like "I am a princess." And she went to Disney and she truly was a princess for the entire week."
Heidi Lennon of Adams said this is her first year participating. She said "Kindness that people have shown is incredible, and her Make A Wish volunteers were strangers, and now they are part of our lives. It's awesome."
Make A Wish Development Officer Peg Wheble said it takes $7,500 to grant one wish.
But with that wish also comes something you can't put a price tag on, emotional support.
Robert Pronovosc of Russell said "She's not alone in the world with illnesses and that other kids can go through it, and she can too with the love of her parents and family."
Megan Blanchard of Adams told 22News "I've been friends with Erin since third grade, so her having kidney disease, it's a very motivational thing to see how strong she is, and she keeps going through. It takes a strong person to do what she does, and she does it well."
Many families told 22News they've come back year after year even after their own child's wish was granted. They says it's all about giving back.
Barlow said "It's our wish to now pay it forward, so other families can have the great memories that we have."
And she isn't alone, hundreds of other Wish Kids and families are also paying it forward, until all wishes are granted.
You can donate online as well at www.walkforwishesma.kintera.org