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When You Wish Upon A Star

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ThermoSpas Helps Starlight Make A Sick Child’s Wish Come True

ericbandwThrough the cooperation and generous donations of ThermoSpas, Priority Electric and the Starlight Children’s Foundation of New England, Eric — an 8 year-old second grader from Grafton, MA who suffers from cerebral palsy (CP) — had his wish granted just in time for summer.

The Starlight Children’s Foundation of New England is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for seriously ill children and their families. The Foundation grants wishes to children with chronic health problems and wanted to offer Eric, who has suffered from CP since he was born prematurely, the chance to make his dream come true.

When Starlight approached Eric and his family about granting his once-in-a- lifetime wish, Eric had a big decision to make. A huge Disney fan, Eric first mentioned that he would love the chance to hang out watching movies at the Disney Store for hours. Another wish idea he tossed around was to ride in an elevator in a tall building for a day. Yet, much to his parent’s relief, Eric — who is confined to a wheelchair – decided he really wanted the freedom and relaxation he got from a hotel hot tub, but in his own backyard.

After being contacted by the Starlight Children’s Foundation of New England about this bright, fun kid, ThermoSpas quickly decided to donate and install an Avalon Spa, which is big enough to fit the whole family, yet still fit in their backyard. It comes with 22 jets for therapy and an ice bucket and shelf for drinks. Priority Electric stepped in and donated the electrical hookup.

Eric calls his hot tub, appropriately enough, a “Cinderella Pool.” The name comes from his great fondness for the “stepsister-turned-princess.” Yet, the selection also& shows the uncanny similarity between Eric and the fairy tale character who, through& the kind granting of a wish, is able to see her dreams come true and her life change for the better.

Not only does a hot tub provide Eric with a chance to move and play freely on his own, but it also offers proven therapy. Eric’s doctor, Christopher Stille, MD of UMASS Memorial Health Care, says the benefits of hydrotherapy (water therapy) include Muscle relaxation, which can reduce muscle spasms in children with spastic CP, Decreased gravity, which increases breath control, Improved trunk control, balance and coordination, Increased mobility and range of motion for children who are wheelchair-bound, Increased strength and endurance.

Eric lives with his parents, Cynthia and Richard, his twin brother Aaron, and his adopted brother Anthony. Aaron, like Eric, was born prematurely and has had some severe health problems including a now-removed tracheostomy. Eric’s brother Anthony also has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair.

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My Brothers

ourjourney

Published Spring 2002, Worcester Area Arc, Inc., “Our Journey” Newsletter

Anthony, Aaron and Eric, all 8 years old,  playing in their living room.
Anthony, Aaron and Eric, all 8 years old,
playing in their living room.

I like my brothers.
My brother Eric is a good brother, but he screams when he is mad.
I play games with my brothers; they are in a club with me.
I sometimes pretend to be the teacher.
I teach them math.
Anthony is very, very nice and does not scream.
He is my new brother and I am glad he lives with us.

by Aaron Bissell

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A “Cinderella Pool”

starlight

Eric’s Wish

When the twins were 4 years old, we took them to StoryLand, NH for their birthday. Eric was nervous about staying in a hotel for the first time, so we told him he would be staying at Cinderella’s House! Eric loves Cinderella, and so he was happy about that. It was this family trip when Eric first relaxed in a hotel hot tub. He called the tub —appropriately enough— a “Cinderella Pool.” After a dip in the hot tub, we were amazed at how relaxed Eric’s muscles were and how well he slept that night.

Eric has never stopped talking about the Cinderella Pool and so for his 5th birthday we took him to a local hotel just to use the hot tub. Again we noticed the positive effects of the water therapy. Eric has been to a hotel several times over the years, but of course going to a hotel can become expensive therapy!

This year, Eric was granted a wish from the StarLight Children’s Foundation. When he was interviewed by Starlight, Eric said without hesitation “I want a Cinderella Pool, please.” In the spirit of Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother and with the help of the Starlight Foundation and a generous donation from ThermoSpas, Eric wish has come true! On Friday May 3rd, Eric’s very own Cinderella Pool was delivered to his back yard.

Eric meets Rich from StarLight
Eric meets Rich from StarLight
Jack Sales Representative from ThermoSpas
Jack Sales Representative from ThermoSpas
Eric Picks the Marble Teal for his Cinderella Pool
Eric Picks the Marble Teal for his Cinderella Pool

icon1Delivery of Cinderella Pool May 3, 2002 Photo Gallery

Priority Electric
Priority Electric
Electrician Mike donated his time to install Eric's Cinderella Pool
Electrician Mike donated his time to install Eric’s Cinderella Pool
Eric's First dip in his Cinderella Pool with Aaron and Dad
Eric’s First dip in his Cinderella Pool with Aaron and Dad
Bedtime relaxation therapy with Mom
Bedtime relaxation therapy with Mom

Media Coverage

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New England Cable News

WB56 News

Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Grafton News

Bubbling Over ThermoSpa’s Newsletter

Bubbling Over ThermoSpa’s Newsletter

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Canadian Bear

By Eric Bissell
By Eric Bissell
My Uncle Bear lives in Canada.
My Uncle Bear lives in Canada.
Uncle Bear isn’t a real bear!
Uncle Bear isn’t a real bear!
Canada is a country that is north of the United States.
Canada is a country that is north of the United States.
It is very cold in Canada.
It is very cold in Canada.
The people who live in Canada do not mind the cold. They are called "hardy people."
The people who live in Canada do not mind the cold.
They are called “hardy people.”
This is because their blood is thicker than ours, so it does not freeze in the cold.
This is because their blood is thicker than ours, so it does not freeze in the cold.
My Uncle Bear likes the cold.
My Uncle Bear likes the cold.
I don’t like to be cold. I wait for Uncle Bear to travel south to visit me!
I don’t like to be cold.
I wait for Uncle Bear to travel south to visit me!

THE END

 Published by
The Children’s Publishing Center
South Grafton Elementary School
South Grafton, MA
2001-2002

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