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Make-a-Wish makes local boy’s quarantine a little less lonely

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 7:32 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted a lot of things — including wishes for sick children with Make-a-Wish Georgia. Dozens of families either have to wait longer or change their wish altogether, and many don't have the luxury of time.

Eleven-year-old Brandon Long is a fighter.

He was born with hereditary pancreatitis, and he’s been in and out of the hospital for seven years.

He eventually underwent major surgery that removed his pancreas, spleen, part of his small intestine and gallbladder.

“Not only did he go through chronic pancreatitis — which was horrific — he went through a 12-hour surgery and three-month recovery, and he is a trooper. I watched him in amazement every day,” said his mom, Jennifer Long.

But when the coronavirus pandemic arrived — Brandon and his family had to hunker down and quarantine, since he’s immunocompromised.

“I’m glad I’m not in the hospital anymore because I get to spend more time with friends and family, but not right now obviously because were in quarantine, so that stinks,” Brandon said.

The virus threatened his health — and his wish with Make-a-Wish Georgia.

Brandon is a huge football fan, and he’s had his fair share of meet-and-greets.

He wanted to go to the Super Bowl — or to meet the Bulldogs.

“I didn’t know about my health at the time and didn’t want to get anyone sick, so during quarantine, my mom told me about an online shopping spree for Apple,” he said.

For Brandon, technology has kept him connected with loved ones through tough times in life.

So the boy who loves football changed his wish, because even at 11 years old, he knows family is everything.

“That’s pretty inspiring for an 11-year-old to say the thing he misses the most is his connection to his friends and family,” said Amy Alvarez with Make-a-Wish Georgia.

On his special day, he was showered with iPads and iPhones — everything he needs to make quarantine a little less lonely.

How to help

There are still some wishes in Augusta waiting to be granted — like a wheelchair-accessible playground, playhouses and treehouses.

Make-a-Wish Georgia is looking to partner with local construction companies to grant those wishes. If you want to help, visit https://georgia.wish.org.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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