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SD Make-A-Wish Grants 1,000th Wish

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Wednesday marked a milestone for the South Dakota Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, as they granted their 1,000th wish. For nearly three decades now, the foundation has been granting wishes for children with life threatening medical conditions.

For 7-year-old Dannika Weelborg, arriving at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport in a limo, was just the beginning of a star-studded trip of a lifetime.  

"We get to go to Universal Studios, we'll probably go to the beach, and we get to see the Good Luck Charlie people,” said Dannika Weelborg, a wish kid.

Dannika has cystic fibrosis, a terminal disease that causes her lungs and other organs in her body to fill up with mucus. But for the next few easy, her disease will be forgotten, as she will be in Hollywood meeting the cast of her favorite Disney Channel Show, ‘Good Luck Charlie.’ And Dannika has her memorabilia all ready for an autograph.

 “…Letting Teddy sign the Bridgit Mendler CD,” said Dannika.
But what makes Dannika’s wish so special, is that it is the 1,000th wish the South Dakota Chapter of Make-A-Wish has granted.
“Back in 1984, very grass roots, just a few people involved, just a few wishes,” said Paul Krueger, the president and CEO of Make-A-Wish South Dakota.

Krueger said during the first year of the chapter, they granted six wishes. But over the years, that number has grown.
“This year we will grant 70 to 75 wishes,” said Krueger.

And for nearly three decades, Krueger said they’ve received quite the variety.

“65 percent of our kids travel,” Krueger said. “So we have lots of Walt Disney trips, half of the kids go on those trips. We have kids that have gone of Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Alaska.  They also want to meet sports figures, from Brett Farve, to the Dallas Cowboys, to being at the Super Bowl, to being at the Pro Bowl.”

But for Dannika, a trip to tinsel town was her wish, soon to come true. And she had one thing to say to those who helped make it happen.

“Thank you for granting my wish,” said Dannika.

There are 60 wishes that are currently in the works for South Dakota Children. The cost per wish is about $7,000.

For more information on how you can help you can go the Make-A-Wish South Dakota’s website.

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