Hey you! If you’re reading this, you’re at the website for a great event. A favorite of mine, actually. Slay-A- Thon helped me complete my Make-A- Wish years ago, and I only feel a little bit cheesy saying it changed my life.
When I was seventeen, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, one of the more curable cancers that also has one of the most aggressive treatments. A nurse once told me she felt bad for the Hodgkin’s patients, because we receive the most amount of chemo in the smallest amount of time. The same day I was diagnosed with cancer, a hospital social worker visited me in my hospital bed and told me “well, on the bright side, you qualify for a Make-A- Wish.”
A few months later, representatives from The Make-A- Wish Foundation came to my home and walked me through the process of receiving a Wish. I’d had time to think about what I wanted to do, so when it came to filling out the paperwork, I told them that my wish was to meet Joss Whedon.
I have a feeling you understand why, because if you’ve been to Slay-A- Thon, you’ve probably been as affected by his work as I have. I grew up on Buffy, held Dollhouse viewings with my friends while it was airing, and binged on Firefly as soon as someone lent me the DVDs. I’d seen him speak about feminism and equality in YouTube videos, and I knew this was a person I wanted in my life, if only for one day.
Thanks to this event, the money was raised to fly me out to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Joss was in pre-production for the first Avengers film. The time leading up to that was one of chemo, a stem cell transplant, and surgery. Total misery pierced only by the desire to be well in time to go on my trip. It became a huge motivator, and, after a particularly nasty infection, I was released from the hospital the day before our flight. And so much of it was possible because of you guys and this event.
You’ll all be pleased to know that Joss is as kind, generous, smart, and authentic as he appears. We spent the day in some meetings he had to attend for the Avengers, then he gave me a tour of the warehouse where they built the helipad interior. He let me ride on his electric bicycle. We had lunch. The day was pretty incredible, but the most incredible part was that he wanted to keep in touch. Joss sent me flowers after every chemo treatment after we met and he continues to be one of my closest friends. I am now five years in remission, and I am so grateful to everyone who had a hand in making my Wish happen. Including and especially you, Slay-A- Thoners.
There are a lot of other kids like me out there, waiting for their chance to have a break from the miseryof illness. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for helping them get their chance at a Wish, too.
This post was contributed by Allyx Davison, a “Wish Kid” whose wish was granted by Slay-A-Thon. Allyx is pictured above with Buffy alum Nicholas Brendon at one of our annual events.