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October 11, 2005 > 6th annual Dylan Johnson Memorial Bowl-A-Thon for Make-A-Wish Foundation

6th annual Dylan Johnson Memorial Bowl-A-Thon for Make-A-Wish Foundation

by Sandra Herzstein

Have you ever thought of what it would be like to lose your child to a horrible disease? What would you do to make him or her happy, if only for a short while? That's what Veronica Johnson faced when she found out that her son, Dylan, was born with a rare genetic disorder called Ivemark Syndrome.

One day, after many exhausting surgeries on her son Dylan, a bright eyed 2-year-old, she found herself searching on the Internet, looking for information and visited the Make-A-Wish website. "I had heard about them and wrote to their email address and told them about my situation, that my son wasn't even 3-years-old. They called me within three days," said Veronica.

A volunteer was sent to meet Dylan. When the volunteer asked him what his wish was, Dylan ran into his bedroom and returned with his stuffed Mickey Mouse and said "Mickey!"

"Dylan had a wish, and that was to meet Mickey Mouse. Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, 10 days before his passing, his wish was granted, and his dream realized," said Veronica. "I knew that he loved Mickey and that going to Disneyland would be right, and it was."

A limo arrived to pick up Dylan and his parents and off they went to Disneyland. "We had a private meeting with all of the characters. He didn't like Quasimodo one bit, but when he saw Pluto... talk about a big smile on a kid's face!"

Veronica was happy too, "You can't put the trip into words, knowing that your child is going in for a major surgery, that he may pass- it was a week of pure joy, no doctors to think about."

But the trip was bittersweet, "The trip was the end of a story book. Once he saw Mickey that was the final chapter." Dylan died on July 27, 2000, at the age of twenty-five months.

As a result of, and perhaps as a way to soothe her grieving, Veronica started raising funds for the foundation. For six years she has hosted an annual fundraiser in memory of her son Dylan. "I do this once a year. It's my best day of the year. I'm just a mom trying to grant another kid a wish."

On Saturday, October 15, Veronica will host the 6th Annual Memorial Bowl-A-Thon at the Cloverleaf Family Bowl located at 40645 Fremont Blvd. in Fremont, (Grimmer and Fremont Blvds.). Registration is 12:30 and bowling begins at 1 p.m. The cost is $15.00 for three games, and includes shoes.

The Oakland Raiderette's will be on hand to sign autographs and there will be silent and live auctions. A quilt, made by the CHD (Congenital Heart Disease) Quilt Project in memory of Dylan, will be on display.

Make-A-Wish Foundation is funded solely by donations. In the last five years, Veronica has raised $36,000, and with this year's Bowl-A-Thon, she is hoping to further her goal of reaching $50,000. One-hundred percent of the proceeds have gone directly to the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation.

All donations are tax deductible (Federal Tax I.D. #94-2958481) Veronica is looking for corporate sponsors for this year's event, but any sponsorship is greatly appreciated. Sponsors will receive recognition during this event. If you are unable to attend but would like to participate, please send your donations to the Cloverleaf Family Bowl in care of Veronica Johnson at the address below. Checks should be made payable to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

For more information on the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit or call (415) 982-9474.

Saturday, October 15
6th annual Dylan Johnson Memorial Bowl-A-Thon
Cloverleaf Family Bowl
40645 Fremont Blvd., Fremont, CA 94539
(510) 656-4411

The Make-A-Wish Foundation was inspired in 1980 by the love that a family and friends had for a 7-year-old boy named Chris, who had leukemia. Chris dreamed of becoming a police officer for a day, and his family and friends in the state highway patrol made his wish come true - complete with his own helmet, goggles, badge and a regulation uniform tailored especially for him. Chris' mother and those who helped to grant his wish created Make-A-Wish in his memory, enabling his legacy to live on. Make-A-Wish is the largest wish granting organization in the world, with 73 chapters in the United States and 32 international affiliates spanning five continents. Its mission is to grant the wishes of children between the ages of 2 1/2 -18-years-old with life threatening medical conditions, and to infuse the human spirit with hope, strength, and joy.

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