Heart Warrior Zoey
Casey's niece Zoey was born with Left Hypoplastic Heart Syndrome before birth, which means her left ventricle is severely underdeveloped and unable to sustain her body as intended. Today, Zoey is an active, happy and one of the toughest seven year olds we know. To date, she has been through three open heart surgeries and will eventually need a heart transplant.
Little Wishes Mission
Little Wishes™ makes a big difference for seriously ill, hospitalized children facing difficult journeys. A non-profit founded by two pediatric oncology/PICU nurses in 2003, Little Wishes helps prevent patients from losing their identity to illness by tapping into their passions. Young patients may identify what makes them happy and wish for something that will fill their hearts and brighten their darkest days.What makes Little Wishes unique is that a patient may wish for something every two weeks giving them a positive event to look forward to. Some children spend hours searching online for their wish, providing a sense of control and healing distraction from pain. Receiving wishes also helps little patients replace anxiety and fear with hope and joy. All wishes take place in the hospital and are delivered with fanfare by hospital staff. Milestones spent in the hospital are also celebrated including birthdays, graduations, and completion of treatment, creating a sense of community. In addition, Little Wishes provides comfort in a child's final days surrounding them with their most cherished belongings and providing memory making kits and keepsake lockets for the family to hold on to forever. Little Wishes has granted over 22,000 wishes to date. Despite COVID-19, Little Wishes continues to deliver wishes every day, bringing much needed delight to both hospital staff and young patients.
Our Partnership with Little Wishes
In 2022 we came across a Little Wishes video that brought our team to tears seeing the power of a Little Wish. We immediately wanted to get involved since these hard and scary hospital moments hit close to home for my family and I. To start, we sent some heavenly hunks to their participating hospitals for their patients and hard-working medical teams to enjoy.
Later in 2022, we made a trip to Nashville with Little Wishes with hunks and gifts in hand to experience the contagious happiness and joy this foundation brings to children in the hospital 24/7/365.
After experiencing these moments of joy first-hand, we knew we wanted to bring Little Wishes to our hometown to #sharethelove, but knew there would be obstacles. After many calls, we quickly realized how all of this was meant to be and that Little Wishes was exactly what heavenly hunks stands for.
We have shared Zoey's journey on our social media since family is at the core of everything we do here at heavenly hunks. It just so happened that Children's Minnesota wanted to kick start the Little Wishes program on their Cardiac ICU unit. It was a twist of fate that Minnesota CHildren, without them knowing Zoey's story chose this unit...a unit where Zoey had spent months throughout her medical journey.
This wouldn't be possible without the support of every single one of you, our customers. Whether you have purchased one bag or hundreds, your support of heavenly hunks made this partnership possible.
We cannot wait to see the moments of joy that will unfold throughout the years at Minnesota Children's!
Children's Minnesota Wish Stories
Heart Warrior Sam
Sam is still waiting for a new heart. He is currently finishing up his school year online. He spends his after-school free time building the extravagant Lego kits that he wishes for. These kits take Sam anywhere from 1-4 days to complete, which he then displays in his room to show off his building skills.
Heart Warrior Markos
Six-month-old Markos has overcome many obsticles during his months in the hospital. He enjoys rocking and being soothed, which is why his wish for a Mamaroo was just what the doctor ordered to help soothe and calm Markos after procedures and long days.
Heart Warrior Brecken
Little Breken is LOVED by his two big sisters who also love Little Wishes. They are helpers in all things Brecken. Following heart surgery, Brecken is working on his head control and his Little Wish of a play gym will help him build back some muscles, while keeping an eye on his sisters.
Tough Cookie Landon
In July of 2021, Landon's life was flipped upside down. His life for the next three years would consist of battling Leukemia for the unforeseeable future. After being diagnosed with cancer and thrown into treatment, Landon did not allow his humor, kind heart, and strength to be affected! Landed endured 7 months of spinal taps, multiple bone marrow aspirations, platelet transfusions, blood transfusions, chemo pills, shots, and infusions. He spent weeks living in the hospital away from his family during the pandemic. In January 2022, Landon was in the hospital, and he became ill and lifeless. Next thing a code was called and doctors and nurses surrounded him in his room. They quickly rushed him down for a CT scan that showed a blood clot in his brain. He was intubated, prepped for surgery and was quickly rolled into the operating room. The surgeons removed a blood clot from his brain and he stayed in a coma for nine consecutive days. Landon awoke with many deficits after the blood clot in his brain. His family was told that walking, sitting, talking, and eating would never be possible again. Today, Landon's days are filled with things that were not possible. He's full of life. he fights every day to be better. he is his usual joker self and can now give his sisters a two-armed hug. He is currently pushing himself hard physically and all while still taking chemotherapy every day. He is WALKING into his chemo treatments!
Heart Warrior Rinken
Sweet two-year-old Rinken is currently recovering from a heart transplant. To say that she is a Paw Patrol super fan would be an understatement! Rinken's hospital room was turned into a Paw Patrol paradise that included toys, bedding and much more.
Heart Warrior John
Born the week of Christmas, little heart warrior John has spent the first three months of his life at Children's Minnesota. John needed heart surgery and since has spent all of his time in his bed attached to tubes and wires while recovering. As soon as the tubed were removed, John was bundled up in comfy clothes and his space was personalized to make it feel a bit more comfortable. John has been enjoying being wrapped up in his cozy new clothing surrounded by a fuzzy blanket with his parents reading him The Big Blue Truck book.
Children's Minnesota First Wish Recipient Marques
Heart warrior Marques was Children's Minnesota's first patient to have their wish granted. Marques has been in and out of Children's Minnesota since he was born. He is so familiar with the Cardiac ICU unit that he even has a favorite and least favorite room. He knows this unit all too well.
Eighteen year old Marques recently had valve replacement surgery and all he wanted after his surgery was some AMP merch and a Joker Funko Pop Figurine.
Little Wishes Launch Party at Children's Minnesota
On February 8th, part of the heavenly hunks and Little Wishes team went to Children's Minnesota to join their staff to celebrate the official launch of the Little Wishes program and to celebrate Children's Minnesota's very first wish. The day was full of celebration, hunks and joyful moments.