Northlanders Walk to Grant Sick Children’s Wishes

The Duluth Walk For Wishes took place Sunday morning near UMD's campus.

DULUTH, Minn. – Hundreds of Northlanders gathered at Bagley Nature Area Sunday morning for a walk, a 5k and to grant some wishes for the annual Walk For Wishes.

“In Minnesota, this walk for wishes has granted over 5,000 wishes,” senior associate athletic director at UMD Karen Stromme said.

Volunteers, student–athletes, community members and wish kids came out to walk and raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation so kids could live out their dream and go somewhere they’ve always wanted to go.

“My wish was to go to Super Bowl 50, three years ago. I love football and I’ve always been a sports fan and I’ve always dreamed of going to the Super Bowl so it was my best chance to,” Gabe Bartlett, a wish kid at the walk, said.

Seeing those wishes come true is what brings people back each year, regardless of their connection to the cause.

“We’ve all been touched by people that have had a critical illness and when we talk to families, it’s not only the children but the families that are really impacted as well when they go on a wish that their families really have a memory that lasts an entire lifetime,” Stromme said.

And the event gives those wish families to reflect on the fun memories they were able to experience.

“We finally felt like we were taking another step away from my illness. Because I had gotten done with treatment about two years before that and we never felt like we could get away and on that trip we finally felt like we could,” Bartlett said.

The funds from the walk here in Duluth stay local, helping sick kids across the state. Organizers said that they are on track to grant 275 wishes throughout Minnesota this year. To learn more about the work Make-A-Wish does in Minnesota, visit their website. 

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