Make-A-Wish kicks off inaugural walk fundraiser - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Make-A-Wish kicks off inaugural walk fundraiser

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BOARDMAN, Ohio - Honorary Make-A-Wish child Blake Hood cut the ribbon for the inaugural Medical Mutual Youngstown Walk-for-Wishes at Boardman Park Saturday.

He and his family from Leavittsburg helped kick off the walk, which ranged from one to three miles depending on participant, around scenic Boardman Park.

Blake is battling Alagille Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, at only 5 years-old. His mom tells us her son requires constant attention and medical treatment.

"It affects the kidneys, the liver, the heart, the eyes, the bones," Rebecca Hood tells 21 News. "It definitely takes a toll on you."

Blake and other Make-A-Wish families are thankful for all who walk or take part in making wishes come true such as the corporate sponsors and companies that provide food and water.

Blake's dad tells us it was magical to watch his son respond to meeting his favorite characters at the Walt Disney World Resort.

"It's unbelieveable what Make-A-Wish does for those kids," Gregg Hood says. "The week [in Disney] was so remarkable."

Now the family is walking to support other children's dreams. There are more than 100 kids in the region waiting for their wish to come true.

"We are in desperate need of wish granting volunteers to help us with wishes in the Youngstown and northeastern Ohio area," says Emily Denholm, the marketing coordinator with the group.

People interested in volunteering or making a donation can visit MakeAWishOhio.org and click on the "Volunteer" or "Giving" tabs for more information.

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