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Grayson searches for seashells

Grayson's wish trip

“ ... he learned beautiful places are only a wish away. ”

Grayson is amazed at the shell-covered beach and his wish come true. He walks along asking strangers “So …what’s your wish?”

Since the moment Grayson was born, he’s been fighting for his life. Diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome at birth, he had his first open-heart surgery at 11 days old. Throughout his young life, he has endured surgery after surgery.

Grayson’s mother, Carrie, says it’s been extremely hard on the entire family. Grayson searches for seashells

So it came as quite a miraculous relief when Grayson and his family discussed the possibility of a wish with Make-A-Wish® Kansas volunteers.

Four-year-old Grayson told wish granters he wanted to fly on an airplane and see the “big water.” He wanted to go look for seashells, sea turtles and dolphins. He was mesmerized by pictures of Sanibel Island, Florida. But it just seemed too good to be true, too much to hope for amid all the grueling treatments and surgeries, tests and hospital visits.

When Grayson receives news of his wish coming true he looks at his four older siblings and says, “I’m takin’ you to Sanibel!” Their first true family vacation, since Grayson is finally healthy enough to travel.

The family visits the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum where they enjoy a private “Shell Walk” that helps Grayson find the best shells on the island. The museum staff then presents Grayson with gifts, including a stuffed squid and shell books.

Volunteers escort the family to the beach to search for seashells with experts.

A Sanibel police officer rides by on his beach motorcycle and invites Grayson to hop on, presenting him with a junior deputy badge.

His parents love watching their kids playing and spending time together – with Grayson just being a kid.

Carrie maintains a web site about Grayson’s progress for family and friends. It features photos of the family trip to Sanibel Island. A heart transplant may be in Grayson’s future, but for now, he learned beautiful places are only a wish away.

It was just about the proudest that I’ve ever seen a four-year-old boy. Our trip gave our family a chance to spend time to relax and reconnect. ”

— Grayson's mom

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My little brother was born with a very similar condition to Grayson's. He is now 17 and loves life because we take him to enjoy activities such as going to the beach and searching for shells too. God bless you. Merry Christmas!

December 21, 2009 - 7:32 PM


Congratulations Grayson. You deserve it. When I first read your wish I was amazed that it was one I could make happen. I am very happy to hear that it has already been granted. I wish you the best in life! Best wishes, Phil

January 18, 2010 - 6:03 AM


I think that the make a wish foundation is the most wonderful thing. I am so happy that these very special children get to have their dreams come true. Thank you all that have a hand is the Make a Wish, and to those of you who aren't able to contribute financially, don't feel bad, just pray for those who are sick, and we need to all come together as one to do whatever we can to inspire these children, because they truly are our future. God Bless you all.

January 26, 2010 - 5:15 PM

June 25, 2012 - 11:25 AM


That is adorable! That Is my name sanibel

March 09, 2015 - 8:24 AM

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