OTSEGO, Mich. – The students of Otsego High School had the pleasure of meeting 4-year-old Brooke Koeman during a Friday night basketball game. Koeman suffers from Severe Combined Immune Deficiency.
The first three years of Brooke’s life was spent in isolation.
“She was more or less born without an immune system,” said her father, Steve Koeman.
Her mother, Shelly, said life during that time was far from normal. “We didn’t go anywhere with her,” she said. “There were no stores, no real vacations. It was just, we stayed home and tried to keep her as germ free as possible.”
All that changed in 2009, her older sister Megan was a match for a bone marrow transplant. That surgery paved the way for a family vacation to Disney World.
“It was a very special trip,” her dad said. “Definitely something that money can’t buy.”
The trip was made possible through Make-A-Wish.
Students at Otsego High School were so moved by the story, they started raising money so other kids could have wishes granted. During a basketball game Friday night, The students got to meet Brooke for the first time and see what a wish comes true looks like.
So far, the students have raised nearly $5,000 for Make-A-Wish, so that other kids can experience what Brooke and her family experienced.
As for Brooke, her parents say her immune system is doing much better and she will be attending school next year.