Make-A-Wish's First 'Wish Kid' Lives In People's Hearts
In 1978 Bopsy was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of five. His mother Octaviana checked him into a hospital in Phoenix although she was 26, single and couldn't afford to keep Bopsy on her insurance. Over the next two years Bopsy's doctor kept the boy inspired by introducing him to a string of people who would be there for his last days. The story of 7 year old Bopsy has been told over countless times. Along the way many of the details of the story have become eschewed and manipulated. It has now been 32 years after Bopsy lost his life to Leukemia. And the story still remains close to the hearts of his mother, the fireman he idolized, and the man who made Bopsy the first ever "wish kid".
In 1980 Linda Pauling contacted Octaviana and shared the story of her son Chris who recently passed away from the same type of cancer. She also shared that her son's dream of becoming a police officer was granted by two officers who made him the only honorary Arizona Highway Patrol Officer in the department's history. This story inspired one of the officers and Chris's mom to start the Make-A-Wish Foundation. When they visited Bopsy he told them of his wishes which consisted of: riding in a hot air balloon, going to Disneyland, and being a fireman. All of Bopsy's wishes were granted, the most memorable of which was his fireman training. He was given more than a tour, he received a jacket, badge, use of the hose and a ride in the fire truck. Unfortunately Bopsy was later hospitalized again and was told he had just days if not hours to live. In response he received a visit from a fireman who came in through the window!
Bopsy passed away the next morning with his mom and grandma beside him. Bopsy's mother isn't too concerned with the lost or fabricated details of Bopsy's story. She is happy knowing that in every version there is still a part of her 7-year-old boy who became a real fireman. "My son is alive and well," Trujillo says, "in so many people's minds."
Read more here.