MARIA STEIN — Sleep plays a vital role when it comes to one’s physical and mental well-being. With plenty of restful, uninterrupted sleep the quality of life increases. Bodies heal more quickly, and the immune systems fight for us while we sleep. The way a body feel while awake are directly impacted by the rejuvenation and comfort of a good night’s rest.
Being able to offer exactly this type of relief is now the reality of Carrie Frysinger, a 16-year-old sophomore at Marion Local High School. Early in 2016, Carrie began getting major headaches. She started seeing spots and began suffering from double vision. Her parents took her to an eye doctor where they discovered fluid behind her eyes.
Within a few days, Carrie was rushed to the hospital due to excruciating pain. An MRI was performed and she was diagnosed with ependymoma, a disease in which cancer cells form within the brain and spinal cord.
In Carrie’s case, this resulted in a brain tumor. Because of Carrie’s condition, Dr. Lober with Dayton Children’s Medical Center, submitted a referral suggesting Carrie could benefit from having a wish granted. So A Special Wish-Dayton got to work.
When all of the i’s were dotted, and all of the t’s were crossed, Carrie was informed she qualified for a special wish. She was asked to “Dream big! Tell ASW the wish you would like to have granted!”
And in response Carrie simply stated, “I’m not a world traveler, in all honesty, I think a wish should go to another child who needs it more than I do. Maybe my wish should be given to someone else.”
According to Amy, Carrie’s mother, “Even with everything Carrie was going through she still felt she was undeserving of such attention. She wanted others to benefit from what A Special Wish does in the Dayton region. We had to convince Carrie that she deserved to be taken care of as well!”
So the discussion within the family began. They asked Carrie what she wanted to do, where she wanted to go, they even asked who she could possibly hope to meet!
That’s when Neale, Carrie’s father said, “Every time you walk into our bedroom your dive onto the bed and wish you had a Sleep Number bed, and the decision was made!”
What Carrie wanted more than anything in the world was a great night’s sleep, a place to relax, and comfortable place to read and write.
Happily, In October, her wish was granted. A Sleep Number adjustable bed was delivered.
As an aspiring author and avid reader, Carrie finds herself spending much of her time writing stories in bed to entertain not only her family members but also her friends.
“Carrie inside and out is a writer,” said Amy. “She wants to be a novelist. When she was in the fifth-grade she wrote a book called ‘My Life as a Fifth Grader,’ and has never stopped coming up with new stories. Now she gets to go upstairs, sit in her new bed and just write and write! She’s such a talented writer, and her friends have now grown to expect continuations of her stories. So I guess you can say her biggest wish of all is to be a successful author one day!”
When asked how Carrie felt when she received the news she would be getting a wish granted her mother said Carrie was “Tickled pink! Carrie started to giggle and couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome! I think what this entire process did for Carrie was to help her understand what a special young woman she truly is. This was an amazing thing to have happen. In retrospect, we’re glad we didn’t let her say no to a wish being granted in her honor. She deserved this wish. Carrie has always wanted to be everyone’s best friend. She effortlessly makes others smile. If there’s a kid in school who needs someone to talk to, Carrie is truly willing to be there for that person. I never realized Carrie was, emotionally, my strongest child. She’s amazing. No matter what she’s going through she wants to put the rest of us first. She always smiles to make sure none of us worry about her.”
Through six weeks of daily radiation treatments, 30 sessions in total, there was a remarkable call to action within the family’s community. Family, friends, and neighbors stepped in to help in any way possible.
“Our new and wonderful network of friends would help drive Carrie to and from the hospital. She had so much fun! The adage ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ has never rang more true. We’re truly thankful for the endless help we received.”
All of Carrie’s follow-up appointments have shown her to be cancer-free. They will continue to recheck her condition every three months, but so far there is no new activity.
Carrie can once again rest easily and work on her next big wish, to be a successful and accomplished writer!
A Special Wish Foundation-Dayton Chapter grants wishes to local children, age birth through 20, who have been diagnoses with a life-threatening disorder. Servicing Montgomery, Darke, Greene, Mercer, Miami, and Shelby counties, A Special Wish Foundation – Dayton Chapter has granted more than 1,600 wishes since 1984. To make a contribution to Make A Wish, log on to www.aspecialwishdayton.org or call 937-223-WISH (9474.)