Shelley teen pays it forward with her wishPublished at | Updated at
SHELLEY — Fourteen-year-old Emersyn Drollinger of Shelley is getting her wish granted.
From the outside, she’s a typical teenager. Emersyn plays softball and volleyball, and she serves on the student council at Hobbs Middle School.
“People just see a happy kid playing softball,” Emersyn’s mother, Lisal Drollinger, told EastIdahoNews.com. “And that’s okay.”
What people don’t see is Emersyn’s battle with cystic fibrosis.
People with cystic fibrosis have thick, sticky mucus that can build up and lead to blockages, damage or infections inside their bodies. Inflammation can also damage organs like the lungs and pancreas.
Emersyn takes medications daily to keep the condition under control. She also undergoes several respiratory treatments every day to keep her lungs healthy.
“CF is a fatal genetic condition,” Drollinger wrote in a social media post recently. “But (Emersyn) isn’t dying. At least not now … right now, CF isn’t winning. She is.”
Because of her diagnosis, Emersyn’s medical team at Primary Children’s Hospital told the Drollingers that Make-A-Wish was an option for her.
“They would bring it up every couple of years,” Lisal recalled. “We would say no.”
Lisal and her husband Trevor, Emersyn’s dad, wanted to be sure that Emersyn was old enough to ask for something she really wanted. Something she would remember.
Everyone expected her to make a wish for herself. But Emersyn had other ideas.
“I wanted to do something to pay it forward,” she told EastIdahoNews.com enthusiastically. “My coaches have done so much for me.”
So, what did Emersyn wish for?
“On March 13, Make-A-Wish Idaho and Pitch in for Baseball & Softball are teaming up to grant 14-year-old Emersyn Drollinger’s wish to give softball equipment to Shelley High School where Emersyn attends classes,” Make-A-Wish Idaho announced in a news release.
“A wish is not a last wish. It is a lasting wish,” the press release reminds us.
Emersyn has certainly taken that sentiment to heart.
“Wishes to give are some of the most special wishes we grant!” Janie Best, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Idaho, said in the news release. “Children with critical illnesses can dream up a very special wish for themselves, but Emersyn chose to give her wish back to the community. Her selflessness will benefit countless youth throughout the region.”
“If Emersyn is selfless, it’s because she’s been surrounded by people who have set that example for her,” Lisal said. “We are just one piece of a big puzzle of good people.”
Emersyn’s wish will be granted in the baseball/softball hitting facility located near the school at 570 West Fir Street in Shelley. There will be an open house to celebrate the facility’s opening, which starts at 5:30 p.m. Emersyn’s wish will be granted right at 6 p.m., with the festivities ending at 7 p.m.
Pitch in for Baseball & Softball is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the collection and distribution of softball and baseball equipment. They are providing a wide array of supplies for this wish including batting helmets with face masks, batting tees, bats, softballs and more, according to the press release.
Make-A-Wish Idaho is dedicated to granting every eligible wish and has granted over 1,900 wishes since the chapter was founded. Make-A-Wish Idaho is one of 58 chapters across the United States. Visit idaho.wish.org to learn more about the magic of a wish.
To learn more about cystic fibrosis, visit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s website.