Shortly after 11-year-old Edward Liu was diagnosed with a rare, inoperable brain tumor, he made a poster in school.
“Each kid in his class was asked ‘If you had one wish, what would you wish for?’ Edward’s dad, Xiang Liu, told TODAY Parents. “Edward wrote, ‘I wish my family would live forever,’ and drew a picture of the four of us.”
“Edward was the sick one, but all he wanted was for us to not die,” said Liu, who lives in Dover, Massachusetts. “That’s exactly the type of kid he is.”
Liu and his wife, Jin Zhang, weren’t surprised when Edward used his wish from Make-A-Wish not to meet his favorite celebrity or take a fantastic trip, but to do something nice for his friends. Recently, he got his wish: a high-tech, indoor play structure was installed at his elementary school.
“All he has ever wanted is to do the right thing and be a person that others look up to.”
The 15 x 8-foot geodome, which was designed by Dacon Corporation, comes with a virtual reality gaming system and is wheelchair accessible. Students use the cozy space to relax, learn and make 3D art projects.
“Edward is so happy with how it turned out,” Liu revealed. “It was more than we could ever imagine.”
Charlotte Beattie, CEO of Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island, describes Edward as “remarkable.” Make-A-Wish grants more than 15,000 wishes to children with critical illnesses each year, and only 1% of them give their wish away.
“At a time when Edward and his family are facing a range of medical challenges, they thought not of themselves, but of what could be done to make his school a better place for all children,” Beattie told TODAY Parents.
Liu says it’s all Edward.
“Edward’s language skills have regressed and he’s mostly limited to a wheelchair, but fundamentally he’s the same person he was before,” Liu explained. “All he has ever wanted is to do the right thing and be a person that others look up to.”
More on Make-A-Wish: