Make A Wish Alabama Grants Emma’s Wish

After years of waiting the Shepard’s finally get to see their wish come to fruition.
Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 9:59 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - When one family woke up their wish was complete.

Make a Wish Alabama has helped grant the Shepard’s wish with the help of the Wiregrass community.

When make a wish kid Emma Shepard gets in a pool you can see her love for the water.

Once the Shepard’s realized the difficulties behind their Disney cruise wish they decided to make a new wish that would bring the party to their own backyard.

Elizabeth Shepard, Emma’s mom said, "That’s her that’s Emma’s happy place… is the water so we’re excited to be able to have something that we can you know have a good time in make memories as a family.”

After a few years of waiting Make a Wish Alabama is finally able to make this wish come true for the Shepard’s.

President and CEO of Make a Wish Alabama, Tracy Smith, said, “We are here at Wish Kid Emma’s house and you can see some magic happening behind us we are granting her wish of a pool and we’re so excited to do that because the most important thing is the way we do this is because we have community partners that step up and really help.”

Pinch a Penny Dothan donated the pool, cost of setup and anything else that was needed to help grant this wish.

Owner of Pinch a Penny Dothan, Jason Sharp, said, “To be able to contribute to a family that’s going through struggles that I cannot relate to and to Emma who is experiencing things that most parents or all parents pray their kids don’t ever have to go through, it was a no brainer for us to say yes whatever we can give you whatever we can to take some of the stress and the worry and the heartache and everything else that goes along with this journey they’re on, whatever we can do.. absolutely.”

Elizabeth Shepard said the pool is going to be a blessing for their family.

She said, “We’re just, we’re so happy to finally see it all come together you know it was definitely worth waiting for.”

As far as the Shepard’s knew everything was fine with Emma until the day of delivery when complications were discovered.

“From there the past 8 almost 9 years have kind of been a rollercoaster of emotions…diagnosis,” Shepard said.

It wasn’t until genetic testing when Emma was 6 years old that they got the correct diagnosis of Lissencephaly, or smooth brain.

“And you know at that point the prognosis….,” Shepard said as she was overcome with emotions.

Emma is such a blessing and joy for their family.

“As of the past couple months she’s done much better and so you know we’re hopeful and looking forward to future,” Shepard said.

A future that now includes some swimming pool fun.

The Shepard’s want to share their gratitude to everyone in the community that came together to make this a possibility and help make Emma’s wish come true.

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