If offered the chance to have whatever we wanted, most of us would probably want an exotic getaway or to meet our favorite celebrities (so we can convince them that we’re the ones they actually want to be with forever, of course). It is usually a very “me”-centered affair. When given this opportunity to have virtually anything her heart desires, Julia Larsen chose something that would benefit someone else.
Julia, a high school senior from San Diego’s Mission Hills High School, was diagnosed with brain cancer last November. Make-A-Wish Foundation, known for bringing to life the wildest dreams of terminally-ill children, told her she could ask for anything. She could have chosen that getaway or a day with any celebrity. Instead, she asked them to help organize a building event for Habitat for Humanity, another organization dedicated to building homes for those in need.
Julia had already traveled to the Dominican Republic to help build medical clinics and build playhouses. Her wish was inspired by that trip, and she initially wanted to go herself. Her medical condition barred her from traveling. The next best thing was to bring the building work to her backyard. This past weekend, her community of San Marcos was ablaze with the effort of Julia’s friends, family, and other community members. Donning blue shirts that said “Julia’s Wish to Give,” these volunteers labored intensively putting together playhouses. Despite her physical limitations, Julia helped where she could.
“I figured I already have so much, and I may as well give someone else the chance to be happy,” the 17-year-old said of her decision. This is a girl who has brain cancer, and she just wants other people to be happy. The Make-A-Wish mission statement reads, “The mission of Make-A-Wish International is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.” Julia’s wish enriches not only her own life but also the lives of those she chose to extend her wish to — a reminder to all of us that joy can also be found in providing joy to others.