Make-A-Wish grants trip to Grand Rapids boy

Posted at 5:37 PM, Dec 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-28 17:37:05-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.–More than 8,000 children’s dreams have come true because of the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Michigan. Now, one more has been added to the list. Jeffrey Shanks was born with not one, but two, heart defects.

“Really it’s just that part of his pulmonary valve didn’t develop so they had to go in and put one in,” said LaToya Shanks, Jeffrey’s mother. “They had to put a shunt in when he was eight days old. Then, a year later they took that one out and put a valve in and just most recently, about a year ago, they put a new valve in so he won’t have to have another open heart surgery until he’s about 37.”

Jeffrey’s condition prevents him from living the life of a normal 8 year old. But Saturday, his family returned home to Grand Rapids from the trip of a lifetime in California. It was one that allowed Jeffrey to enjoy his favorite things.

“I was surprised, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it at first,” LaToya Shanks said.

The Shanks spent nearly a week touring Los Angeles, Disney Land and Jeffrey’s favorite, the “Cars” exhibits.

“Exciting, it was very exciting,” LaToya Shanks said. “It was a dream come true for all of us really, for his wish to be granted like that it was sweet. Very sweet.”

The Michigan chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation began 30 years ago. You can learn more about the organization on their website.