Make A Wish Foundation Arranges Last Rites from the Pope for Sick Tucson Girl
While Pope Francis didn’t make it out west during his trip to the U.S. last week, his love is felt very much right here in Tucson, especially by a local wish family. Make-A-Wish Arizona was able to send Jazmin, 15, to Vatican City, Italy recently to receive a blessing from the Pope himself.
And this was no small wish. It took a lot of people to make Jazmin’s wish come true, including Ken Krapf, Bank of Tucson Relationship Manager, who works with Make-A-Wish Arizona as Chairman of the Ambassador Board.
Make-A-Wish Arizona grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich their lives with hope, strength and joy. When a wish, like Jazmin’s wish to meet the Pope, comes to the organization, they work with their international office to create an experience totally unique for the child. In Jazmin’s case, due to her stomach cancer diagnosis, she was given only three to six months to live, so the organization’s Board of Directors and staff sprang into action and organized a trip that sent Jazmin, her mother, her sister and her father over to Rome, with a special day at Vatican City. Jazmin was given the opportunity to be blessed by the Pope during his afternoon mass that week. Later, an Italian Cardinal took Jazmin and her family to a special small church in the city for a personal mass and anointing of the sick. In total, the week-long trip was day after day of memories for Jazmin and her family.
Ken joined the Make-A-Wish Arizona Board of Directors in 2013. In 2014, working in conjunction with Rob LaMaster, Southern Arizona Executive Director for Make-A-Wish Arizona, Ken helped establish a 25-member Tucson Ambassador Board, which he now chairs, to raise awareness of the Make-A-Wish Arizona mission in Southern Arizona.
This year, Make-A-Wish Arizona granted 355 wishes in Arizona for fiscal year ending 8/31/15 (versus 330in FYE 2014 and 317 for FYE 2013). About 20 percent of those 2015 wishes were granted to Tucson-area children.
Below is Jazmin’s request letter for her wish.
Dear Make-A-Wish Team AZ,
My name is Jazmin. I’m 15 years old from AZ & have 2 sisters, 23 & 13 and my mom & dad. I am very grateful that Make-A-Wish has provided me an opportunity for a Wish. So first and foremost thank you to the employees and volunteers for all that you do!
My dream and wish would be to receive my last rites by Pope Francis, the Bishop of Rome, in Vatican City. He is my world leader of the Catholic Church. I have made my sacraments through the years and my Catholic faith is an on-going testament that I believe in the Lord our God, as he is my Savior. My Heavenly Father has put my family and myself on #JazminsJourney. We walk together as a family, blindly accepting my fate, as my trust in Jesus to shed his light and guide me through this journey remains strong. The Last Rites that I wish to receive from the Papa/Pope would bring my life as Catholic follower full circle with my final sacrament. As a 15 year old girl, I hope that I would feel the healing power and strength of the Papa to ease my confusion and fears and that of my family. I accept that my time here on earth as we know it is limited. My last wish for the Papa to perform my Last Rites/Sacrament to help not only myself but my family to provide them peace as I begin my new journey as an Angel of God!
God Bless Us All – Jazmin
If Jazmin’s wish has touched your heart and left you wanting to do more for kids with life-threatening medical conditions, Ken wants you to know about the inaugural Tucson Walk For Wishes being held on October 18th at the University of Arizona Mall. Ken is a co-chair of the Walk For Wishes Committee, which hopes to raise $50,000 to help grant wishes for wish kids. To find out more, please contact Ken at our office or visit the Walk For Wishes website. It’s a great way to help Ken and many others enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy for these children.
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