As part of their community service, students in Tyler Junior College’s leadership class were interested in helping a 3-year-old named Avian Stokes who was enlisted in the Make -A-Wish Foundation in Tyler.

Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions and volunteers serve as wish granters, fundraisers, etc. In this case, the leadership class wanted to volunteer and contacted the foundation. They picked Avian’s story and, coincidentally, his mother Shalanda Stokes used to be a worker in the nursing department at TJC and now she is taking a math class just for refreshment.

A year ago, Avian was diagnosed with bilateral optic nerves biomass. He has tumors on both nerves behind his eyes. Consequently, when he was younger he had to get close to see things. His mom took him to the doctor and he said Avian had to wear glasses and may go blind if this gets worse. Since then he has been back and forth to the doctor to check if those tumors are still growing. He has to take steroids to keep them down. Avian’s doctor referred them to apply for a wish in this foundation.

“I was notified last week that Make-A-Wish is gonna grant us a wish, so that’s very exciting, very happy about that and just overwells me,” Mrs. Stokes said. “He [Avian] loves Mickey Mouse. We’re going to Disney World to see Mickey.”

Avian and his mother are planning to go in December to Disney World along with Avian’s sister and grandmother for 7 days and 6 nights.

The leadership class has planned many activities to raise money for the child like a car wash, a raffle, a garage sale, paintball scenario and bake sales.

“I really appreciate what the leadership class is doing for him. I’ve always helped with Make-A-Wish in preview years, but I never knew I was going to need or use Make-A-Wish. It’s like a whole circle and it really touches my heart,” Mrs. Stokes said.

“If students wanna help that’s great,” Don Blaine, leadership professor at TJC, said. “It would be great if anyone wants to get involved.”

People can donate clothes on Nov. 17, at the parking lot off 5th Street and Palmer for the garage sale. Paintball scenario will be done on Nov. 17, in Tyler and entry will be $20. To register call 903-521-4246. For more information contact Don Blaine at 903-510-2595 or dbla@tjc.edu

Dulce Flores

Staff Writer

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