Wish of a Lifetime makes dreams come true for seniors
From skydiving to feeding penguins, this nonprofit is fulfilling seniors' lifelong dreams one wish at a time.
Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 08:41 AM
Wish of a Lifetime helped Edna Doyle reach her dream of going skydiving. (All photos: Wish of a Lifetime)
Edna Doyle has always been adventurous.
The 84-year-old resident of Freedom Village Holland, a senior community in Michigan, has traveled to every continent — including Antarctica — but until a couple years ago, there was still one item on her bucket list: skydiving.
So on July 20, 2012, she strapped on a parachute and jumped from a plane.
The skydiving adventure was arranged by Wish of a Lifetime (WOL), a nonprofit organization that grants "wishes" for seniors.
WOL was founded in 2008 by former NFL player Jeremy Bloom, who wanted to foster greater respect for America's seniors.
Below, take a look at some of the other lifelong dreams WOL has fulfilled for Brookdale community residents through the organization's partnership with Brookdale Senior Living.
Mule ride into the Grand Canyon
Betty Sue Doyle, 80, first visited the Grand Canyon in 1965, but she was unable to ride a mule into the canyon. The dream of someday riding into the canyon stayed with her, and in 2013, she finally made the trip with her two sons.
Pilot for a day
From an early age, Anthony Como was fascinated by planes. This interest led to six years of military service during the 1940s and '50s, where he flew on multiple military transports and Army jets.
On July 6, Tony got to fly a plane for the first time with a professional pilot from the Philadelphia Flight Academy. After some basic ground training, Como took over the controls at 10,000 feet and flew over the Atlantic Ocean.
A day surrounded by beauty
Ninety-one-year-old Aldora Gaither's appreciation for nature inspired a love of gardening, a hobby she was devoted to for years.
When she shared a wish to immerse herself in a place full of beautiful flowers, WOL arranged for her to spend the day at McGill's Rose Garden in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she saw more than 4,000 types of roses.
Up close with horses
Jack Prior, an 84-year-old Florida resident, grew up in Michigan and spent much of his life showing horses with his late wife, Sally. Prior wanted another day with the animals he spent years caring for, so WOL took him to Fairwin Farm, where he got to interact with some of his favorite animals.
Playing with penguins
Seventy-three-year-old Walter Blohm has been fascinated by penguins for as long as he can remember. After visiting the birds at aquariums and learning about them from documentaries, he wanted a chance to interact with the animals he finds so captivating.
Recently, he made a trip to the Detroit Zoo with his grandson, where he got to feed and pet the zoo's penguins.
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