GATES, N.Y. (WHEC) — It may look like any other pool, but for 12-year-old Cody Offen it is a wish come true.
Cody was born with Williams syndrome, a genetic condition that causes cardiovascular issues and developmental delays.
He had to undergo cleft palate surgery and then open-heart surgery within his first year of life.
“It was difficult being young parents with a child with Williams syndrome. We struggled a lot with everything. [Without] the help of our parents and friends, I don’t know what we would do,” expressed his mom, Melissa Offen.
Now, they’re getting a little help from Make-A-Wish, which just installed a pool for Cody.
He was referred to Make-A-Wish by Golisano Children’s Hospital.
“Wishes are more than just a nice thing. In the fight against a critical illness, wishes spark renewed strength and encouragement for every child and family on their journey. Wishes help kids look past their limitations, families overcome anxiety, and entire communities experience joy,” wrote Katie Glaser with Make-A-Wish.
Indeed, Cody is finding relief through his fun in the sun. The act of jumping and swimming is actually helping him with his gross motor skills.
It is also just a chance for him to relax and be a kid in between his constant checkups and doctor appointments.
“Just seeing the smile on his face, it means everything to us,” shared Melissa.
Cody’s favorite part is jumping in from the ladder.
Locally, Make-A-Wish Western New York grants more than 100 wishes every year. It doesn’t get federal or state funding, and relies on donations.
To learn more about the Make-A-Wish mission, click here.
To learn more about Williams Syndrome, click here.