This 13-year-old Mississippian gave his state’s Make-A-Wish chapter their first-ever “selfless” request, and the impact has been monumental.
Linda Sermons was the one to open the request for her foundation. Within, Abraham Olagbegi, a 13-year-old with a rare blood disorder, wasn’t asking for the usual trip to Disney World or to meet a celebrity. Instead, Abraham wanted to feed the homeless.
“Our eyes watered up and we got goosebumps,” she tells The Washington Post. “It was a milestone for us. His wish is selfless.” And with that selfless wish, Abraham made the Mississippi Make-A-Wish chapter’s first philanthropic request.
Abraham’s family learned of his eligibility for a wish back in July. “If you could wish for anything in the world, what would it be?” his mother, Miriam Olagbegi, asked her teen.
“I really want to feed the homeless,” he replied. Miriam was stunned, but only for a split second.
“When I think about the kind of kid he is, his answer made perfect sense,” adds the Jackson, Mississippi mother. So submit his wish they did, and the rest has been the making of a remarkable story.
“I would like for the homeless people at Poindexter Park in Jackson to receive one hot meal a month every month for the rest of the year or for an entire year,” Abraham wrote for his Make-A-Wish entry.
This isn’t out of the ordinary for the young man or his family, either. The Olagbegi’s have a generations-long tradition that Abraham’s disease had him missing terribly.
Make-A-Wish Makes Good on Teen’s Wish to Feed Homeless
“Before I got sick, me and my family would go feed the homeless at that park every month. Since I became sick, my family had to stop doing it. I really want to do something impactful,” he continued for the charity.
As a result, this sort of selflessness has become “second nature” to Abraham, he says. “My mom would always say it’s a blessing to be a blessing,” he tells Washington Post. And after a year of watching him suffer, his family was deeply moved by his wish to help others above himself.
“It just melted my heart,” Miriam adds. Her son’s condition came on gradually, but wound up a complete shock to their world. After weeks of declining stamina and pep, Abraham would collapse at home. A rushed trip to the hospital and several tests later would reveal his diagnosis: aplastic anemia.
Abraham’s is a rare, life-threatening condition in which the body can’t produce enough new blood cells to remain healthy. His parents were told he would need a bone marrow transplant, among other life-saving treatments, within weeks of his June 2020 diagnosis.
“It was just a whirlwind,” Miriam recalls. But not even this life-altering, sometimes crippling disease could break Abraham’s spirit.
“I try to always keep good spirits and think about the positive,” he says. And as for that Make-A-Wish request? “My wish has definitely come true.”
As a result of that wish, Make-A-Wish has vowed to feed a minimum of 80 homeless people one Sunday each month for a full year. They’ll do so at his hometown’s Poindexter Park through what the foundation has named “Abraham’s Table” – a creation Abraham himself hopes to turn into a nonprofit in the years to come.