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A new lease on life
Fennimore teen granted A WIsh
Breelyn Neuroth
Breelyn Neuroth and her boyfriend Nick Blaschke enjoyed the paradise along with Breelyn's parents last week while on her Make a Wish Foundation trip to Turks and Caicos. Neuroth and Blaschke are both incoming FHS Seniors for the 2019-2020 year.
Almost two years ago Breelyn Neuroth underwent a life changing surgery. In late 2017, Breelyn was the recipient of a new pancreas.
Breelyn, who lived with diabetes since age three, suffered from hypoglycemic unawareness. Suffering from this complication meant she lacked warning signs of a blood sugar drop.
“For 12 years, I don’t think I slept all night,” Breelyn’s mom Shari said. “I never knew when her sugar would bottom out.”
It was Breelyn’s hypoglycemic unawareness that made her eligible for a transplant, something the family had found out after changing insurance.
Following rounds of interviews with a social worker, dietician and doctor, Breelyn became the UW-Health’s youngest pancreatic transplant patient.
Shari noted in a previous story about Breelyn that the new organ was like “an early Christmas present.” Since the 2017 transplant, Breelyn has continued to grow into a young healthy adult.
So, when Shari received a call from the Make a Wish Foundation of Wisconsin, she was a bit puzzled.
“After I got a call from Make A Wish I thought they had us confused with another family,” Shari said. “I told them yes, you have the right Breelyn and she did have an organ transplant, but she’s not terminally ill.”
Shari’s confusion is not uncommon.
“One of the biggest misconceptions about Make A Wish is that it is only for terminally ill kids,” Make A Wish Madison Regional Coordinator Jade Pekol explained. “70 percent of our kids live full adult lives. To qualify for Make A Wish, the kid must be diagnosed with something progressive, degenerative or malignant. We work with clinics and hospitals to create a list of diagnoses that qualify.”
Pekol shared that most often, social workers and doctors work together to nominate youngsters for the program. Once referred, the team also works with the doctor to determine the child is medically eligible and able to complete the wish.  
“We were hesitant at first, I spent a lot of time thinking it over. But they told us, ‘the funds are there and you’re not taking anything from any other kid,’ they urged us to consider it,so we went for it,” Shari said.
After the administrative work was done and the paper work filed, the fun began.
The wish teams meet with children like Breelyn  to help sort out what their wish is.
“Mostly there are no restrictions for a wish,” Pekol said. “We don’t do anything involving weapons, and we can’t do while house make overs or things that would significantly change the value of the home.  We can do single rooms, like a bedroom make over or a sensory room. And we don’t give cars. Those of age can drive their dream car though.”
Pekol noted that 45 percent of wishes are to go to Disneyland, noting that the new park in Hawaii is quickly becoming a favorite.  
“It can be challenging for our more imaginative wishers,” Pekol said. “We have to get creative sometimes, But we get a lot of wishes that involve Princesses, so Disney covers a lot of bases.”
Breelyn fell in the 79 percent who wish for a travel adventure. Her wish was to take a trip some where she may never be able to go otherwise.
Last week on Wednesday, Aug. 7, a limo pulled up ay the Neuroth family home to whisk Breelyn, her mom, dad and boyfriend off to Turks and Caicos.
When the wish receiver makes their choice, the wish granters host a celebration when presenting them with their wish.
“They brought the itinerary to us and brought cake and ballons and little buttons for us to wear to show we are part of the Make A Wish program.”
The family will be spending a week at the Beaches resort in Turks and Caicos. The all inclusive resort boasts water sports,  like windsurfing and snorkeling, land activities like beach volleyball and shuffle board, water park, a tropical choo choo train, spa, adventure tours and 21 different restaurants. All things Breelyn can now enjoy thanks to her life changing organ transplant.
“One thing Bree is really hoping she can do is go horse back riding on the beach,” Shari said. “No matter what we do, I’m sure we’ll have a blast.”