I don’t know four-year-old Alan, but I can tell you that I like him. With the curiosity and inquisitiveness of a child, Alan sounds like the type of kid who can conjure up his own interesting world in his imagination that is far superior to the world we live in. I think we all can learn a little something from Alan.
Thursday was a very special day because Alan had a wish come true – he got to live out the childhood fantasy of pushing every button in the elevator at one of the tallest buildings in San Antonio. Far from getting in trouble, Alan was actually cheered on when the elevator stopped on each floor. This was the wish Alan asked for from the Make a Wish Foundation, a “rush wish” because he found out that he had only two weeks to live.
I learned about Alan’s story when Geekdom mentor-in-chief Nick Longo sent out a message to our email list. “I have a special request. We have been asked to do something very special and emotional tomorrow at 3:30pm at Geekdom for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.” Longo asked Geekdom members to come and line the halls so that we could cheer Alan on when he elevator stopped. In addition to Geekdom, employees of Rackspace, students and faculty from St. Mary’s and tenants of the Weston Centre were all there for Alan.
The scene was surreal when the elevator doors opened on my floor. There was this little boy who has endured hardships that I can’t even fathom, but he was a kid who was able to forget his troubles for a moment and, well, just be a kid.
Riding along with Alan was his family. While I have no concept how difficult life must be for them right now, I’m certain that they are going to be able to look back on that ride in the future with joy, remembering how happy he was and all the people who came out to support their family.
Over 900 people cheered Alan on, from the ground floor to the top of the building; I was so happy to be one of them. This was a moment for each of us to pause and support a family in our community, a family most of us didn’t know, but one who was on the receiving end of hundreds of prayers and well wishes at that moment in time.
We all stopped to look at the world through a four-year-old’s eyes, and how the routine task of an elevator ride transformed into something full of wonder and magic.
You can read Alan’s mom tell the story on here blog post about the big day called, The Power of Yes. If Alan’s story has inspired you, I would encourage you to visit http://wish.org and donate to the Make a Wish Foundation in his honor.