By KARLA POMEROY
The Make-A-Wish Foundation® has helped make wishes come true for more than 200,000 children and on Sunday a wish was granted for a 6-year-old Basin boy.
Landon Noble, son of Rory and Randi Lynn Noble, had family and friends gather at his Make-A-Wish party Sunday at his grandparents home on Antelope Street. Randi Lynn said she was looking for a bicycle or something that provide a good activity for Landon when he wanted to be outside. She said she searched for bike and respiratory problems and came across the buddy bike. On the website for the bike it suggested several foundations that help with finances and Make-A-Wish was one of the organizations.
She contacted the Cody Make-A-Wish office and about three months later they were having a party with the culminating event showing Landon his Buddy Bike. The Buddy Bike is an alternative tandem bicycle for riders of all abilities. The innovative design, which allows the younger driver to ride up front rather than behind, has safety features that provide children with special needs an opportunity for social interaction, physical exercise and physical therapy, according to the website, buddybike.com.
In addition to the tandem bike, Landon’s bike also came with a trailer. Randi Lynn said it’s the perfect bike because it’s something that will grow with him. He can move from the trailer to the front of the bike and so forth.
“I was amazed at how fast the process was,” Randi Lynn said. After making the initial contact, the Make-A-Wish Cody volunteers, Pat Chapman and Tammy Poley had to contact Landon’s physician in Denver to determine the child’s eligibility.
Landon qualified with his pulmonary hypertension. Randi Lynn said Landon was born with a double outlet right ventricle and had to have a valve repaired at 5 ½ months. At age 10 months, he was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension in addition to a rare chromosome arrangement. She said it is so rare it’s hard to know what to expect. “It has affected some of his cognitive skills. But his pulmonary hypertension is under control right now,” Randi Lynn said, adding that they feel fortunate to live where they do with only two physicians who handle juvenile pulmonary hypertension — one in Denver and one in New York City.
According to the Make-A-Wish website, www.wish.org, children between the ages of 2 ½ to 18 are eligible for wishes. They must have been diagnosed with a progressive, degenerative or malignant condition that has placed the child’s life in jeopardy and they must not have received a wish from another wish-granting organization.
Chapman, who along with Poley, brought the numerous gifts, the cake and the Buddy Bike down to Basin for the party, said after a child receives the medical eligibility from the physician they sit down with the family to make sure the wish that has been requested is truly what the child wants.
Landon, however, can’t express his specific wants but, Randi Lynn said they explained to Chapman and Poley that “He loves to be outside and this is something that will grow with him. The bike adjusts as he grows.”
She said Sunday he was excited about the bicycle but a bit too hyped up about the party and hadn’t tried it. “We’ll work with him and we know once he gets on it we won’t be able to get him off,” she said. “Last night as he went to bed he kept asking “bike ride? Bike ride?”
In addition to the bicycle, Landon had many presents to open, all wrapped in the Make-A-Wish blue color. All centered around his favorite character Thomas The Train or the bicycle — a bike helmet, gloves and knee pads, horn, a Thomas The Train backpack, cake, T-shirt, tattoos, bandana and a conductor’s cap.
But the story isn’t just about Landon’s wish, it’s also about the Cody High School Student Council helping make his wish come true. Each year the Student Council raises funds for Make-A-Wish, the Wyoming Association of Student Council’s charity.
CHS Student Council Advisor Karen Carney said funds are raised each year during Wish Week. “A lot of people contribute.”
She said they contact Make-A-Wish each year to find a child in the Big Horn Basin and “adopt” the child’s wish by raising funds for that wish. She said if possible they invite the student to come to the school during the opening assembly of Wish Week. “It helps to put a name and face to the project,” Carney said.
She added that through a personal experience she saw the impact Make-A-Wish had on children. “It gives them a time where they don’t have to think about their illness,” she said.
Wish Week and raising funds for area children is an opportunity for the Cody students, she said to reach out to the community and make a connection.
Chapman said all of Landon’s party gifts were funded through the Cody High School Student Council fundraiser.