Peytyn's Wish

Peytyn has spent her fair share of time at the hospital. The charming five-year-old lives with a nervous system disorder that was difficult to diagnose and yet she dives without reservation into her favorite things: horses, construction trucks, and the television show Heartland. She loves Heartland best of all.

“She’s watched every season a number of times,” notes Peytyn’s mom. “She loves everything about it, but she especially loves Ty.” Since Peytyn often pretends that Ty has joined her for supper or to play, it was easy for her to decide on her wish: she wanted to visit the set of Heartland and meet her favourite characters.

Peytyn and her family travelled to Calgary where they swam, shopped and visited the Calgary Zoo before a limo showed up on Peytyn’s wish day to take them to the Heartland set. “The whole time she was just peering out the window, looking for anything she recognized from the show.” Before long, Peytyn found herself in familiar territory, making some new friends.

“Actors who weren’t even supposed to be on set came out to meet her,” said Peytyn’s mom. At first Peytyn was shy about meeting “Ty” (Graham Wardle), but soon she was pointing out key spots on the set to the actor and peppering him with questions about specific episodes. The family enjoyed lunch on the set and Graham showed Peytyn how to drive his truck. “It was a standard,” notes Peytyn.

When she grows up, Peytyn wants to work in construction and be a trick rider in the rodeo. She watches YouTube videos of trick riders and recently asked her mom to sign her up for gymnastics so she could learn to cartwheel off a horse. “She knows exactly what she wants now. She is driven and focused.” Having her wish granted gave Peytyn a story to tell, along with more courage and confidence.

“People don’t realize the impact a wish has. It was unbelievable seeing her on the Heartland set—she’s loved that show her whole life—and we still talk about it every day. The wish doesn’t end when the day itself is done.”

Peytyn only needed one word to describe her wish: “Awesome.”

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