What dreams are made of, 6-year-old Suffolk boy granted a wish of a lifetime

Published 5:54 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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With the help of Chartway Credit Union and Make-A-Wish, 6-year-old Joshua Bucheit of Suffolk was able to have an ice cream social and receive a trip with his family to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Buchheit had hydronephrosis when he was around 20 weeks in utero, resulting in his kidneys shutting down and being in end-stage renal failure. 

Joshua’s father, Ryan Buchheit was able to donate his kidney to his son when he was 18 months old, with both healing afterwards. Now, Joshua is swimming, lively and living his best life. Jennifer Buchheit talked about looking at the good times now and how it reminds her and Ryan of where they used to be. 

“So sometimes it can actually be really traumatizing because the good things remind you of the terrible things that end up happening, and it’s in a good way because those are the good things that you didn’t process while it was going on,” Jennifer said. “And I think that it’s very healthy and important to admit ‘Oh, he was two days from dying.’ You don’t do that while it’s happening, and so it’s really important that we realize how sick he was, and that again makes us appreciate how healthy he is…”

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Jennifer also said watching Joshua has given her a different perspective when seeing other kids in different difficult situations.

“I think too when you’re in a hospital and he’s strapped to a bed, under paralysis… and he’s not the sickest kid in the hospital, there is a different perspective. You just have a different perspective on pretty much everything,” she said. “And so we’re not really like ‘Everything’s positive! Look to the right side,’ people, but we also are like, when you know it could be worse, that almost makes it a little bit like, ‘we have not hit rock bottom yet.’”

She continued.

“There are people that don’t leave the hospital with their kid, and so that part was really easy to acknowledge and I am thankful for that every day,” Jennifer said.

Chartway Promise Foundation President Christine Wilson talked about how CPF and the Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia work to support medically fragile children and their families. On how they’re able to give back, Wilson says they give back through fundraising and donations.

“We hold a variety of fundraisers, so the public is welcome to join in on those fundraisers and of course, make a donation. We also have some wonderful corporate partners that support us in raising our funds,” Wilson said. “We work with different organizations like Make-A-Wish, Toby’s Dream, Hooked on Hope and of course, CHKD, and where they need help in programming and supporting these families, we’re there to provide the funds to make the magic happen.”

Joshua’s family says the next big goal for him is eating as he is currently not able to eat solid foods, having to eat through a tube. Despite this, they are looking forward to the trip to Disney World. On who he wants to see the most?

“Mickey,” Joshua said. “And I want to go see Goofy and Donald Duck!”