Make-A-Wish in need of volunteers to help local kids with critic - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Make-A-Wish in need of volunteers to help local kids with critical illnesses

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WALLA WALLA, WA - Sophia Bean has many scars, and she's only ten years old. She was born with a rare chromosome disorder that affects her development and speech. She had an open heart surgery just two days after being born, and a few years ago doctors discovered the first bone of her upper back hadn't developed and was in pieces.

"Falling is our biggest concern," said Angela Bean, Sophia's mom. "Right now, her neck is still healing from the last surgery she had. A fall at this point would risk the bone strength and structure."

Angela was a teacher, but she had to quit her job to take care of Sophia full time. For her parents, the hardest part is the unknown because they don't know what other medical problems Sophia may encounter later in life.

As for her one wish in life right now...

"She has decided that baby sea turtles are her thing, so I think that's from 'Moana' because she loves the movie," Angela explained. "But she really wants to see baby sea turtles. It's going to be a big deal for her and something special to maybe make up for all the stress and pain she's been through."

Make-A-Wish Foundation has been working hard to grant Sophia her wish, but they don't have enough volunteers to fulfill the wish of not just Sophia but of many local children facing critical illnesses.

"We are pretty close," said Sammy, Sophia's big sister. "Whenever she's having trouble with something."

If you'd like to know how you can volunteer and help a child like Sophia, you can call 509-458-2618 or visit akwa.wish.org.

Make-A-Wish is having an in-person volunteer training session in the Tri-Cities on June 21st. They also offer online volunteer training once a month in the evenings, and they only take an hour. The next online training is June 14th.

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