BURLINGTON, Vt. – A Vermont teen with a passion for video games will soon create a game of her own, thanks to the Make-a-Wish foundation.
Mika Millard has been battling cystic fibrosis since she was six weeks old, and video games have brought the 13-year-old happiness most of her life.
On Monday, she walked into the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies for what she thought was a meeting with game developers to pitch her idea. After she finished her presentation, however, it was revealed that the Make-a-Wish Foundation had already planned out a 10-week itinerary for the development of her game.
It’ll be a busy few months with production and weekly team meetings, but the only thing overwhelming Mika was the anticipation.
“I can’t even explain my excitement. I’m just trying not to go crazy right now,” Mika said.
She wants her game to be island-themed, and a team from design studio Rad Magpie will help shape the vision. The studio is made up of students from the Champlain College game design program. One of the students that helped bring the surprise to Mika was Madi Baer, who was once a wish kid herself.
“It’s really special, because I don’t remember anything of my wish,” Baer said. “I was diagnosed with a brain tumor and it really has affected my memory… To be able to have even more of an experience helping another wish kid is really, really special to me.”
Mika’s mother, Jessica Millard, said one of the most memorable experiences was seeing her reaction when all of her friends came into the meeting room.
“I knew they were going to shuffle in behind us, so I heard them all coming and she hadn’t seem them yet,” Jessica said. “It was just really fun to see.”
The game will likely be released late summer.
Make-a-Wish Vermont has granted over 830 wishes since 1989.