KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As a Make-A-Wish recipient, 18-year-old Trenton Elliot could have chosen any surprise for himself. But instead, he chose to give back, donating five Xbox Series X and five PlayStation 5 gaming systems to Children's Mercy.
“I was nervous, but I was overall just excited for what this day would entail,” said Elliot, who has cystic fibrosis. “The hospital has just helped me out for the last five years that I’ve known I had cystic fibrosis, so I wanted to give back to them."
Brian Miller, director of marketing and communications for Make-A-Wish Missouri and Kansas, said the wishes granted for children with critical illnesses fall into four categories.
"I wish to go, I wish to be, I wish to meet, or I wish to have. And every now and then, you see a wish to give back," Miller said. "And it truly does touch our hearts."
Elliot said he hopes the new gadgets will help ease the experiences of patients like himself and 16-year-old Reese Davis.
“Hospital time is very slow – almost feels like time freezes," Davis said. " And anything to distract you to pass the time helps you so much."
Trista Tate, Children’s Mercy’s volunteer program director, said the magnitude of Elliot’s donation will become twofold in years to come.
“If he would’ve gotten a wish, it would have impacted him in that moment," she said. "This wish is impacting thousands of patients for years to come.”
Make-A-Wish Missouri and Kansas has granted more than 8,900 wishes to local children with critical illnesses. It hopes to grant 333 wishes this year alone.
Gamers Outreach, a nonprofit, also donated an adaptable-gaming system that will make it easier for all children to have access.