Make-A-Wish Vermont granted the wish of a 12-year-old Milton girl Thursday afternoon. Sophia Calderwood and her family are off to Paris for cooking lessons.
“That’s the only limit,” said Jamie Hathaway, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Vermont. “What can a child dream up and how can we make that dream happen.“
Sophia was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex at just 18 months old. It’s a disease that can cause tumors on multiple organs in the body.
“We’re just really thankful, it’s been a long road,“ said Elisa Calderwood, Sophia’s mom. “We were told she would never talk, never read and she never ceases to amaze us with her accomplishments.“
Once in France, Sophia said she’s most excited to meet the French, see the Eiffel Tower, and of course dapple in the French cuisine, specifically the croissants. She already knows a bit of the language.
“I know ‘hello’ is ‘bonjour’ and ‘thank you’ is ‘merci’,“ Sophia said.
The send-off began with a gathering at Leunig’s Bistro.
“We’re the panache of Paris and the value of Vermont right in the center of town” said Bob Conlon, owner of Leunig’s. “The reason we have a restaurant is so people can create memories.“
Restaurant staff and Burlingtonians then lined up the street to send Sophia and her family off. Police even took her on a special escort up Church Street and off to the Burlington International Airport.
“I think it’s really going to help her in the long run to have this opportunity,“ said Clinton Calderwood, Sophia’s dad.
Make-A-Wish said that’s their goal when they grant wishes.
“They provide something to look forward to,” Hathaway said. “Knowing someone cares about you, you’re able to have the strength to pull through.“
Make-A-Wish Vermont has granted more than 800 wishes over the years. If you’re interested in volunteering, click https://vermont.wish.org/ways-to-help/volunteering