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The Season Of Wishes: Tanner’s Wish


By Aimee Burnett

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV) Make a Wish, on average, grants a wish every thirty-eight seconds to a child with a life threatening medical condition.

All this month, every Thursday, we'll be sharing the stories of people in our community who have benefited from the Idaho Make a Wish Foundation.

Tonight, Aimee Burnett for Idaho’s First News takes us to Twin Falls in this edition of The Season of Wishes.

"Tanner has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He's 8-years old; he's a third grader at Perrine Elementary School. Tanner no longer walks, he doesn't have the use of his leg muscles anymore and he's in a power wheel chair. He uses it at school and at home. Also, daily he has physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy. He's had two surgeries. You know, he was on steroids for awhile. He's unable to do a lot of stuff that regular third grade boys can,” explains Kim Hopkinson, Tanner’s mom.

It was at a local fill the boot fundraiser when Tanner's journey with the Make a Wish Foundation began.

“We were at a Jerome Fire Department BBQ; they were gearing up for their fill the boot program, and they actually called Make a Wish and tried to get a wish started for Tanner,” Kim says.

Tanner's disease affects about one in every 36-hundred boys.

“It's really hard to watch one of your children get weaker and weaker every day. People asked us all the time... How do you guys deal with it? How are you not crazy people? And, you just have to. You just deal with it, you do. We laugh a lot. Lots of smiles, humor is what we use to cope with everything,” Kim explains.

That's where organizations like Make a Wish come in... Sending the whole family to Orlando, Florida.

“He loves dinosaurs, so his original wish was to go to DinoLand U.S.A, which is part of Animal Kingdom, which is part of Disney World. At Universal, they have their whole Jurassic Park exhibit and we got behind the scenes tour; Tanner got to name a newly hatched baby Velociraptor,” Kim says.

"My favorite ride was the Jurassic Park Water Ride," Tanner adds.

"We were treated like royalty the entire time we were there. And, just the kindness that complete strangers showed us was just overwhelming. They're angels. They're just amazing. It was a family vacation that we got to take that we never would've been able to. And, it was something we're going to be able to look back on for the rest of our lives and have these wonderful, cherished memories," Kim explains.

"The whole trip was just such an amazing great time. Best week of my life," says Alex Hopkinson, Tanner’s dad.

Make a Wish Idaho has granted over 11-hundred wishes...

Each one a life-affirming testament to hope, inspiration and resilience.

Next week, we take you to Buhl to tell you about another special Make a Wish recipient.

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