Aaron Wright, in his new bedroom, looks at his gifts  May 9.

Aaron Wright, in his new bedroom, looks at his gifts May 9.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Local student has wishes come true for birthday

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published May 20, 2019

 Several of Wright’s favorite things were purchased and placed in his bedroom for his birthday.

Several of Wright’s favorite things were purchased and placed in his bedroom for his birthday.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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WARREN — May 9 was definitely a happy birthday for Lincoln Elementary School second-grade student Aaron Wright when he turned 11.

Many of Wright’s birthday wishes came true when the national children’s charity organization Kids Wish Network visited his house to give him a birthday celebration he’ll always cherish.

Lincoln is part of Van Dyke Public Schools.

Wright has hydrocephalus — also known as liquid on the brain — which was caused by a traumatic brain injury he sustained when he fell out of a second-story window when he was 2 years old.

The Warren resident has grown up loving the Dr. Seuss character the Grinch, Transformers, SpongeBob SquarePants and race cars. So for his birthday, Wright received a surprise bedroom makeover with all his favorite things through the Kids Wish Network. He knew nothing about the secret celebration until he came home from school.

When Wright was at school, representatives came to the family home to paint the young boy’s bedroom and set it up with new furniture, a television set, a video game system, a new rug, and a new bed comforter and bed. Other birthday presents included “Star Wars” merchandise, Spider-Man headphones, stuffed animals and a collection of birthday cards.

After school, Wright rode home in style when he was picked up in a Chevrolet Camaro and brought to his house, where family and friends waited. Those who shared in his joy included mom Christina Wright, dad Michael Wright, older brother Steven, older sister Madeline, Value City Furniture representative Jimmy Sergeant, and Kids Wish Network spokesperson Don Tanner.  

VDPS staff members and the Grinch were there too, and the Lincoln High School marching band came by the house to play “Happy Birthday.”

Donors who helped make the wishes come true include Value City Furniture, Sam’s Club, Hamilton Chevrolet, Walmart, Kroger, and Top Notch Party Bus & Limousine. The birthday surprises left Wright speechless.

“I like my room,” he said while checking things out.

The Kids Wish Network, based in Florida, is dedicated to creating happy memories and improving the quality of life for children with life-threatening conditions and struggling with life-altering situations. The organization offers a number of programs, and donors and sponsors are welcome to help support the organization.

“(Wright’s) family reached out to us with Aaron’s story,” said Tanner, a founding partner of Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications, based in Farmington Hills. “It really touched our hearts. They’ve gone through so much adversity since he had his accident. It’s heartwarming. It’s hard not to get a little emotional.”

“He had no idea this was going on behind the scenes,” Lincoln Principal Stephanie LaBelle said. “He’s such a great kid and so deserving. It’s a day he won’t forget. We’re just really thrilled for him and his family.”

Wright’s teacher, Taylor Coppola, and VDPS Special Services Supervisor Tricia Huey-Rocheleau reportedly organized the birthday event with the Kids Wish Network.

“It’s exciting for him,” Lincoln paraprofessional Mary Grace said. “I feel very happy for him.”

At school, Wright is known for being a friend to others and for making personal cards for staff members.

“Kids Wish Network went above and beyond,” Christina Wright said. “I am overwhelmed by all of this. Everyone came together to do this for him.”

For more information on the Kids Wish Network, visit www.kidswishnetwork.org.

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