“This is Karmen ~ I’m calling from Make a Wish”
In the Summer of 2012, I received a call from Karmen, a volunteer Wish Granter for Make A Wish asking me if I may be interested in helping fulfill the wish of a very special young man who had dreams of becoming an astrophysicist. Although the diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumor slowed him down a bit, it didn’t dampen his spirit or thirst for learning about the stars and space. Despite this grim diagnosis, Nate’s* attitude and approach was that of courage and personal contribution. He was allowing his team of doctors to perform additional tests and treatments to help them better understand the genesis and scope of this unique tumor (ironically named an Astrocytoma because of its star shape) Nate was determined to do what he could to help others with Astrocytomas.
Like most 17 year old boys, Nate LOVED playing his video games and hanging with his friends. After a good deal of conversation, it was determined that Nate’s one true wish would be to have a mancave decked out with a Smart TV, sound system, and a comfortable theater chair for gaming. When fulfilling a wish, the wish granters try to incorporate elements of surprise to really make the wish as special as possible. Karmen’s wish team thought it would be perfect to create a mancave with a space theme to fit Nate’s passion for astrophysics.
The unique friend of a friend connection
Karmen and her team were starting to put together their Mancave plan when Karmen happened to mention to her good friend and neighbor Connie, that she was working on a really cool wish. When Karmen mentioned that she was doing Nate’s Man Cave in an outer space theme and they thought fiber optic stars in the ceiling would be the ultimate in cool, Connie became very excited! She knew this guy who installs fiber optic star ceilings! And ‘this guy’ was kind of a fiber optic geek! He even put fiber optic stars into a spaceship he made in his basement for his kids. (The Space Place) The best part is — his company, The Fiber Optic Store, is only 45 minutes away from Nate’s home!
Major Crunch Time!
In the realm of Make A Wish – “The Reveal” is what the team is working towards. The Reveal is when the recipient learns that their wish will be granted or when they receive their desired ‘Wish”. The reveal date for Nate’s wish was only 12 days after Connie helped Karmen make the connection to us…12 days!! Would this be enough time to design, coordinate and completely install a star ceiling? One significant immediate hurdle loomed – we don’t stock acoustic panels!
Acoustic panels? When installing a star ceiling in a home or business, we typically use black acoustic panels to thread the fiber optic filament into, and then we mount them to the ceiling. While The Fiber Optic Store stocks all the fiber optic filament, cables and illuminators, we don’t carry any acoustic panels. For our local installs, we usually have them custom made — and a custom order certainly takes longer than 12 days!
I wasn’t sure how, or if, I’d be able to pull this off in time for Nate’s Reveal!
~ Out of respect for this young man and his family, “Nate” is NOT his actual name.
~ Also some of the photos and images have been altered to respectfully conceal his identity along with his family and friends.