Sidney's Fiebig getting her 'Wish' granted

7-year-old battling brain tumor receives opportunity from SRMC, Make-A-Wish Foundation

 

Courtney Fletcher

Family and friends gathered at Sidney Regional Medical Center to spend time with Paige Fiebig and wish her well before she and her family leave for Hawaii.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to children in the U.S. with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy every 38 minutes.

Paige Fiebig, a Sidney 7-year-old, had her wish to go to Hawaii granted earlier this week. Her doctors qualified her for the Make-A-Wish program and was approached this spring by wish granters, Sally Harris and Amanda Arnold. Fiebig hoped to go to Hawaii with her family because of stories a friend shared about how much fun she had on the island.

Fiebig has been undergoing treatments for a malignant brain tumor for the past year. Last July, Fiebig was diagnosed with Pineoblastoma, a rare, malignant brain tumor that grew in the area of her pineal gland.

Symptoms of brain tumors of this type often times include hydrocephalus, which is a buildup of fluid pressure in the brain. This pressure causes headaches, vomiting and, at times a difficulty to look upward. Fiebig underwent two brain surgeries back-to-back to relieve the pressure in her brain.


Fiebig's special family trip is being sponsored by Sidney Regional Medical Center.

"We are going to Oahu for six days," said Paige's dad, Robert Fiebig. "She's going to be able to swim with the dolphins, go to a safari park and there's even a water park. Most importantly, she's excited to swim with the dolphins."

He said that the community support in Sidney has been awesome and at times overwhelming.

In March, Fiebig and Adeline Elder, a 7-year-old who was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, a rare type of brain cancer, were able to meet and spend time with the Sidney Red Raiders girls' basketball team and head coach Tyler Shaw. The team presented the girls with team shirts, posters, toys and crafts.

The Sidney's "Got Heart" benefit for Fiebig was also held last year. A talent show, dinner and auction where locals performed and donated items and services. The proceeds were donated to her family to help cover medical expenses.

Two of Sidney's local Make-A-Wish volunteer wish granters – Harris and Arnold – were able to connect with the family to make Fiebig's wish come true.

"Mandy and I met with the family three times and numerous emails were sent to figure out dates around doctor appointments," Harris said. "Paige has been enamored with Hawaii ever since a neighbor went for a vacation and brought her back a gift. We actually just told her she got her wish the day before her bon voyage party at the hospital."


"A wish experience, spreading no only joy, but hope and strength to a child is a turning point in a child's fight to overcome a life-threatening condition," said Hannah Stone, vice president of Make-A-Wish Nebraska. "A wish through our foundation offers the family an opportunity to experience something extraordinary and provides wonderful memories that will last a lifetime."

Harris said that all of the money raised in Nebraska for Make-A-Wish stays in Nebraska to fund wishes.

"Not all wishes are trips, they have done spas, playground equipment, meeting celebrities and so much more. This is an amazing organization," she added.

The Nebraska chapter of Make-A-Wish grants approximately 110 wishes per year to qualified Nebraska children. It is one of 69 chapters across the U.S. With the help of generous donors and volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Nebraska has granted more than 2,000 wishes to children throughout the state since 1983.

Sidney Regional Medical Center also hosted a luau-themed send off for Fiebig and her family on Wednesday afternoon. Fiegbig was all smiles as family, nurses, community members and friends celebrated and wished he well on her big island adventure.

Courtney Fletcher

 

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