Make-A-Wish sends local boy to meet celebrity group The Wiggles
Friday, October 4th, 2013
Issue 40, Volume 17.
The wish was granted to Joey Hoke, 13, who was joined by his family, relatives and friends.
Hokeís disability began when he was born. He has multiple health issues and has had a total of 19 surgeries in his lifetime. Although Hoke is 13, heís about the size of a 5-year-old.
"Heíll always be very small and very fragile," said Hokeís mother, Kellie Hoke.
When Hoke found out that his wish had been granted, he screamed with excitement.
Filippiís is also Hokeís favorite restaurant.
Because Hoke doesnít like sweets, the restaurant put a candle in a meatball for his birthday, after that it became his favorite place to eat, his mother recalled.
Although Hokeís favorite waitress was off the night his wish was being granted, she still came in to congratulate him, who his mother said he has a crush on.
"All the waitresses and waiters were so cute with him," his mother said.
Although he is getting older heís still very much a kid, because of his disability, she also said.
This wish is the thing heís always wanted. The Make-A-Wish foundation has done every little detail to make it perfect, his mother added.
The night was over the top, said Stephanie Walley, a representative at Make-A-Wish.
"It was amazing, he was so, so excited," she said.
Walley described Hoke as a charmingboy with an infectious smile. He was in tears and it became an emotional night.
"It was wonderful to see that smile on his face," Walley said.
Children, ages 3-18, granted a wish by the foundation have life threatening diseases.
For a childís wish to be granted an application is submitted by the childís parents or physician and the foundation reviews the application. The child is chosen by health issue and age.
Hokeís mother said Joey wants to perform in The Wiggles group. The childrenís group is intended for a preschool audience, so itís not just about watching the show.
"He loves to put on shows and perform for people," she said.
On Tuesday, Sept. 10, a limo picked up Hoke from his house to take him to the Grove in Anaheim to meet The Wiggles before the concert began.
Before Tuesday, Hoke didnít know what a limo was until his parents explained to him "itís what picks up the movie stars to go places." His mother said he started screaming and crying with excitement.
"The best part about granting this wish like this is seeing the child smile all night," said Walley.
"[He knows] this whole thing is for him and they donít have to worry about anything," she said. "And the positive energy that comes from that kind of excitement is so good. And studies have shown that children do improve from positive endorphins that are released when they are that happy."
"Itís something that heíll remember forever," Walley added.
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