On Wednesday, May 22, 2013 members of the Western PA Chapter of Twilight Wish, along with 30 residents from the John Fraser Senior Hall in Turtle Creek, gathered to honor resident Judith Meyers by granting her wish. Judith is an accomplished artist who loves arts & crafts, but recently had to stop attending classes and volunteering her talents due to financial restraints and vehicle repairs. Thanks to the Western PA chapter, Judith will now be able to attend art classes, purchase much needed art supplies, and share her love of the arts with others. Judith is well known for her community service and volunteerism, serving as Secretary on her facility’s council. She is also known for her generosity, often giving her own limited food to others in need in her building. In addition, Judith started a pot luck dinner program at the facility to help out others in need at the end of the month when their funds are low. Pictured: Judith Meyers with her nominator, Melissa Allenbaugh.
SueAnn Lowmiller, 76, has been a resident of Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation Center in New Castle, PA since 2009. Lowmiller never married and lived with her parent until they both passed away. Her poignant wish was to visit her parents’ gravesites in Pittsburgh one more time. Because she has no family nearby who can take her, she hasn’t been able to visit her parents’ graves for over 10 years. Her wish was granted, thanks to the New Castle, Pa. chapter of Twilight Wish. Volunteer Monica Shoup drove Lowmiller from New Castle to Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery in Pittsburgh on Saturday, May 18th. Special thanks to Cialella and Carney Florists in New Castle who donated two silk arrangements for Lowmiller to put on her parents’ graves. Because Lowmiller is a huge Pittsburgh Penguins fan, the New Castle chapter also surprised her with a basket full of Penguins items. Pictured, Lowmiller with her nurse, Joyce Main, who nominated her for the wish.
Adaline Skillings, a resident of Hannastown, PA, just turned 100 on May 6, 2013 and celebrated her milestone birthday in a big way on Wednesday, May 8th. Adaline’s favorite restaurant is The Lamplighter in Delmont and her Twilight Wish was to celebrate her birthday with her family there. Thanks to the Western Pennsylvania chapter of Twilight Wish Foundation, her wish came true. Adaline and five of her family members celebrated her 100th birthday in a beautifully decorated private dining room, complete with cake and balloons. Special thanks to The Lamplighter who donated two meals for this special occasion.
Arnold Hall, 72, recently had his simple wish granted, thanks to the Tucson, Arizona chapter of Twilight Wish Foundation. Hall's old truck had broken down years ago in Yuma, but he could never afford to have it towed back to his home in Tucson. Twilight Wish arranged to have his beloved truck towed to Tucson, a surprise for Hall, who is a disabled Veteran. Special thanks to Right Now Towing and American Self Storage Tucson East for their help in granting this wish! Pictured, Arnold Hall with Twilight Wish chapter representative, Lisa Mach, who granted his wish.
Thomas Conklin, 72, has been fighting multiple sclerosis for over 38 years, living in his nursing facility for the last 11 of those years. Because of the progression of his disease, he can no longer operate his power chair and has not been able to leave the building since August of 2011. Knowing that a specialized wheelchair that would allow him to return to the activities he once enjoyed, his wife, Linda, submitted the wish request to Twilight Wish on his behalf.
On May 1, 2013, Conklin was surprised when his new wheelchair was delivered to his nursing facility, courtesy of Twilight Wish Foundation! Escorted by a cavalcade of motorcycle riders from Warriors’ Watch and the American Legion, Twilight Wish’s Long Island, NY chapter director, James Ciervo, delivered the new specialized wheelchair to Conklin.
Conklin is an Air Force veteran and father of four boys. When first diagnosed years ago, he was in denial and continued working three jobs in order to support his family. The new wheelchair will allow Conklin some mobility, giving him the opportunity to take “walks” around the grounds of the facility with his wife who is also a resident and wheelchair-bound. Special thanks to Robert Mosco of Port Jefferson, NY who donated the wheelchair.
Richard Caton, 73, recently had his wish for a power chair granted by the Barstow, Ca. chapter of Twilight Wish. Caton, who worked 43 years as a barber, suffers from peripheral artery disease (PAD) and has poor circulation in both legs, leaving him unable to get around on his own. Before retiring, Caton often went to hospitals and nursing homes to cut the hair of those who couldn't make it to the barber shop. Thanks to the generosity of donor Diana Pace, his wish came true on April 22, 2013. The power chair will enable Caton to maintain his independence, allowing him to grocery shop and participate in other activities. Pictured, Barstow chapter director Jeff Eason with Richard Caton.
Ronald Fry, 71, had his wish for a new hospital bed granted by the recently-formed Barstow, CA chapter of Twilight Wish. Fry, who sufferes from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), has trouble breathing and is unable to sleep laying flat. For the past few years, he was forced to sleep in a recliner and was unable to get a good night's sleep. Thanks to Diana Pace, a member of the Barstow Senior Center, Fry's wish came true. Pace donated the bed and Jeff Eason, director of the Barstow chapter, delivered it to Fry on April 14, 2013.
Harry Schaeffer, 81, recently had his wish for a football signed by Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien granted. Schaeffer is a Korean War veteran and worked at the local paper mill until he was forced to retire due to disability from rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Besides being severely disabled from advanced RA, he is a prostate cancer survivor and has had open heart surgery. The local Arthritis Foundation named Schaeffer patient of the year in 2010 because of his determination to fight his RA. A lifelong Penn State football fan, having his wish granted "absolutely created a happy memory for him," according to his daughter. Special thanks to a former Penn State player and the Penn State football program for making this wish come true.
Ari Yoder, 69, recently had her wish for a service dog granted. Several years ago, Yoder’s beloved service dog, Sammy, became ill and had to be euthanized at the age of nine. In addition to being her service dog, Sammy was also trained as a therapy dog and they held regular pet therapy sessions at a local drug treatment facility. His death left her heartbroken and she could not replace him for several years. Yoder recently realized that she misses the constant companionship of a dog, as well as the volunteer work that the two of them did together. But, because she lives on a fixed income, she could not afford the start-up costs associated with adopting a dog.
She submitted an application to Twilight Wish Foundation, asking for assistance with the costs associated with adopting a dog such as adoption fees, immunizations, and supplies. Twilight Wish accepted her wish application and worked hard to raise the funds to cover Yoder’s adoption expenses. Many groups and individuals were also touched by her story on Facebook and the Twilight Wish website and donated generously. Happily, Yoder found Danny, a six-year-old Golden Labrador, at a local shelter, and adopted him on Thursday, March 22, 2013.
Yoder has been active in community service since she was in high school, including volunteering with the Peace Corps in Micronesia and serving as a disaster specialist for the American Red Cross for several years. She currently volunteers for the West Seattle Senior Center as a thrift shop cashier and in their computer lab, teaching computer skills to other seniors. Yoder plans to train Danny to be a therapy dog and continue giving back to the community.
“This lovely dog has brought unconditional love and companionship into my life,” said Yoder. “In just over two weeks, he has changed my life. Thank you, thank you, Twilight Wish!”
Diane Cassidy has been a resident of Golden Heights Personal Care Home for over nine years, since suffering a stroke. The stroke left her paralyzed on one side, requiring her to use a wheelchair. Because of this, Cassidy is rarely able to leave the facility. Her wish for a fun night out, away from the nursing facility was granted on Monday, April 8th when Cassidy and her caregiver enjoyed dinner at the Rialto Café, followed by the Beach Boys’ concert. To make the night even more special, Twilight Wish arranged for Cassidy to travel in style in a limousine to the restaurant and concert. Special thanks to Rialto Café, Latshaw Productions and Fantasy Limousine Service of Greensburg who help to grant the wish.
Paula Brumley, 68, is a resident of Weatherwood Manor, an assisted living facility, where she is in hospice care. Brumley enjoys socializing with the other residents in her facility and participates in group activities whenever she can. Unfortunately, her medical issues and oxygen limitations make it difficult for her to interact with others as much as she would like. Her wish was for a special dinner out, spending time with others, away from her normal routine. This simple wish was granted on Monday, March 18th when Brumley and several of her caregivers enjoyed lunch at her restaurant of choice, LongHorn Steakhouse. To make the day even more special, Twilight Wish arranged for Brumley to travel in style in a limousine to the restaurant. Special thanks to LongHorn Steakhouse and Fantasy Limousine Service of Greensburg who helped to grant the wish.
Ann Isacoff, a resident of Langdon Place of Dover, NH had her wish to see a Broadway musical granted, thanks to Twilight Wish and the operator of her nursing center, SunBridge Healthcare, now part of the Genesis family. Ann, 96, is well-known in her nursing facility for her lifelong love of the theatre, even organizing variety shows starring other residents there. As a child, Ann always wanted to perform on stage, but life pointed her in another direction. However, she never lost her love of the theatre. Her wish was granted on Sunday, March 3, 2013 when she and her daughter were treated to special seats at a matinee performance of "Jersey Boys" in Boston. Special thanks to Parentgiving who donated the tickets. Thanks also to Feliciano Limousine who discounted the cost of the transportation for the wish. Photo: Ann waves as she leaves for Boston.
Judith Szabo, 74, recently had her wish for card-making supplies granted. Szabo enjoys making homemade cards for every occasion, often giving them to other residents in her government-subsidized senior housing facility for their own use. She also decorates her building’s bulletin board with a monthly birthday wish for other residents celebrating their birthdays and puts out candy treats for the other residents in her building. Doing these things gives Szabo great pleasure, but because she lives on a fixed income, she often can’t afford the cost of replenishing her card-making supplies.
Szabo’s case manager, Bernadette O’Connor, submitted the wish for craft supplies on her behalf. Szabo has lived a life full of service to others, raising four children and working as an LPN until she was injured in a car accident and unable to continue working. Despite being wheelchair-bound, she still is able to help out one of her daughters who was recently paralyzed following spinal surgery, cooking for her and providing emotional support. She also helps out in another daughter’s bakery during the holiday season, answering phones and taking orders. Her wish was granted on February 27th, 2013 when several representatives from Twilight Wish presented Szabo with a gift basket full of supplies and a gift card to A.C. Moore. Special thanks to A.C. Moore for donating the supplies and to a generous donor for the gift card.
James Bearden, 81, recently had his wish to visit the veterans’ memorials in Washington, D.C. granted. James, a resident of Huntsville, AL, lost one of his legs at the young age of 13 in an elevator accident. Because of this, he wasn’t able to serve in the military, something he always wanted to do. James' five brothers all served in the Army and he always had great respect for them because of that. He has led a very productive life, retiring from IBM after many years of service and is also very active in his community, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and serving on the board of HEMSI (Huntsville Emergency Medical Services Inc.) for 12 years. James is currently a voter’s registration deputy and a member of the sanctuary choir at his church. His wish to visit the veterans’ memorials and pay his respects to those that served came true this past June when he and his wife, Georgia, had the chance to visit Washington, D.C. and Annapolis. Thanks to the DoubleTree in Annapolis for donating lodging for the Beardens and to several generous donors who assisted with their travel expenses.
We have had a generous donation from the Dalton Family to cover Lorene's hotel stay and a donation from the Beckett Family Foundation and to make Lorene's wish come true. She traveled by train to Denver for Mother's Day!
Lorene has never been on a train and would love to travel in one to see her daughter and granddaughter in Denver, CO. She thinks "listening to the clack-clack of the rails" would be very relaxing. She is unable to afford to travel and currently "escapes" by reading books. She volunteers at her area Senior Center and with Head Start.
Angelina DiFrancis, 78, a resident of Hempfield Manor in Greensburg, Pa., recently had her wish to go to a Steelers' game granted, thanks to a generous donor. A lifelong Steelers' fan, Angelina and three family members watched her favorite team play from their donated club seats. According to Erica Shaffer, a volunteer with the Western Pennsylvania chapter, Angelina had a great time and really enjoyed being able to have all the coffee she wanted! Thanks also to the Pittsburgh Steelers who donated a football autographed by Angelina's favorite player, Troy Polamalu, who she finds "utterly exciting!"
Juan Alcedo, 80, a resident of Tucson, Arizona will have his wish for a new hearing aid granted, thanks to the University of Arizona Hearing Clinic and the Arizona chapter of Twilight Wish. Juan worked hard throughout his life: as a farmer, in construction, as a lettuce picker and in a packing company. Although Juan lost his right hand in an accident working for the packing company in 1989, he still plays the guitar and sings and plays for his church. His insurance does not cover the cost of the hearing aid and Juan cannot afford it on his limited income. He struggles to take part in conversations and wishes very much to be able to hear the voices of his 29 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. His wish will come true on January 31, 2013 when he receives his new hearing aid!
Gus Siciliano, a WWII veteran and POW, recently had his wish for a new flagpole and flags granted. Although 92 and in hospice care for mesothelioma, he still lives in his home with Helen, his wife of 60 years. During a recent storm, their 25 foot flagpole and flags were destroyed. Siciliano is a proud Army veteran and was a prisoner of war in a Nazi prison camp in Germany. Until the storm destroyed them, he proudly flew both the U.S. and POW flags. After hearing of his wish, volunteers from Bucks County Service Industry Charities installed a new flagpole and donated new flags. On Saturday, November 17, 2012, over 50 members of Warriors' Watch attended the wish granting and conducted a flag raising ceremony with Gus raising the flag himself.
Great news! A generous donation has been made to make Robert's Wish come true!
Robert is a devoted husband and father who is battling Stage 4 lymphoma. He has always been generous to others and helped his neighbor by mowing her lawn and providing meals to her after she lost her husband. While in the hospital, he told his daughter-in-law "What I wish for more than anything else is to have a wood working tools set up in my garage so I can work on bird house to keep my hands busy like I use to." The tools he has now are mostly broken and very old.
Our New York Twilight Wish Chapter received a gently used lift that Ruth is able to use! We recevied a wonderful donation to cover the cost of shipping it to Florida. It is very heavy and large so the cost to ship it was $1,000!
Ruth was in need of the sit to stand equipment to allow her to come home from her rehabilitation center. She cannot stand by herself and needs the lift to help her get into her wheelchair. She misses being in her own home and this chair would bring her such happiness.