This summer is a difficult one for many children throughout the community, with many recreational places and programs closed due to COVID-19. For 2-year-old James Mota Mendez, it is even harder as he battles leukemia. James, a little
This summer is a difficult one for many children throughout the community, with many recreational places and programs closed due to COVID-19.
For 2-year-old James Mota Mendez, it is even harder as he battles leukemia.
James, a little boy from Cranston, was diagnosed just two weeks shy of his second birthday. His wish – a new outdoor playset for the backyard – was granted by A Wish Come True so he and his brother, Aiden, who is 5 years old and has special needs, can play together.
Due to James’ compromised immune system and being unable to socialize, this was a perfect wish during the pandemic. Being outside and playing with his older brother is his favorite thing to do.
“It was our pleasure to provide this awesome play set for James and his family. Watching him play and smile before his next chemo treatment is what brings out the passion in all of us to do more,” said Mary-Kate O’Leary, executive director of A Wish Come True.
The playset was made by Creative Play Things and purchased from Walpole Outdoors in Warwick.
“Most people describe James as having a strong personality, fearless and constantly joyful,” said his mother, Caroline. “His laugh can brighten anyone’s day. He enjoys playing with his older cousins and friends, but most of all he enjoys being with his big brother Aiden.”
She added: “One of the hardest parts of this diagnosis is all the time that they spend apart. James spends a lot of time in the hospital, but as soon as he sees his brother again, it doesn’t matter how much pain he’s in – he immediately gets excited and smiles at his big brother.”
“I want James to have the best quality of life possible, despite this terrible disease,” said his father, Edgar.
“While we are living through this pandemic, we all could use some extra support… whether it is a teddy bear to hug to feel better or a new game to get some giggles, this is what our families need extra of,” said Nicole White, director of program services at A Wish Come True, located in Warwick.
She added: “We surveyed the families to see what they need during these challenging times and new toys/games, stuffed animals, and outdoor activities were high on the priority list among many other critical needs. So this calls for ‘Christmas in July.’”
Anyone who feels inclined to help and support may drop off toy donations between and July 22 to A Wish Come True, located at 1010 Warwick Ave., Warwick, RI 02888. For more information, call 781-9199.