Rockford community helps grant 5-year-old girl’s Make-a-Wish

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A 5-year-old Rockford girl received her Make-a-Wish on Wednesday.

Her first wish was to go to Disney World, but because of the pandemic, her wish shifted a little. Her parents say the new addition to their backyard should make up for it.

Bikers led the way followed by police on what is normally a quiet Rockford street, all for 5-year-old Iris.

“We were totally not expecting that. We got a really nice playground this morning and we got a parade” said her parents, Bernice and Jamie Jaquaz.

Since birth, Iris has suffered from a gastrointestinal condition. Wednesday, the Make a Wish Foundation made her dream of having her own playground in her backyard come true.

“I was surprised how fast they put it up. They got here really early today, she watched the whole time through the window, waiting for them to finish. As soon as they were done, she ran out the door and went down the slide,” her parents said.

But the new swingset wasn’t the original plan for the 5-year-old’s wish.

“Initially we were going to Disney World but because of COVID we had to adjust. We waited a little bit and we talked to Iris and she said that she-we told her we couldn’t go and we asked if she wanted something else and she picked a playground,” her parents explained.

Iris isn’t the only kid who has had to go with Plan B.

“All travel wishes are postponed till 2021 at least and we have no idea when in 2021 we can resume those,” said Sue Heng, a wish granted.

The new playground came directly from Make-a-Wish. But with the pandemic, donations have helped make wish reveals just as special.

“The food tonight, Dicky’s BBQ, gave us a discount and gave us a free tray of sliders. And Nothing Bunt Cakes donated the cake. There’s still people willing to donate and give us a break,” Heng added.

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