Hoosier teen gives back to sick children after Make-A-Wish trip to Hawaii

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Make-A-Wish organization grants special experiences for Hoosier children battling life-threatening medical conditions. Every month, CBS4 shares a story about a Hoosier family impacted by Make-A-Wish.

It's a sweet gesture by a Hoosier teen to give back. Mary Jacobson was born with chronic neutropenia.

"The disease means that you don't have enough white blood cells to fight infections," explains Mary Jacobson.

Last summer, Jacobson completed a bone marrow transplant. Now, she is off daily shots and has more energy than ever. In June, the Make-A-Wish organization granted her wish to travel to Hawaii.

"I love beaches. It was beautiful," she says.

Jacobson wished to go to Hawaii to learn to surf. Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton is one of Jacobson's idols. Hamilton survived a shark attack.

"I look up to her because she never gave up and isn’t afraid to show her faith in God.  It was awesome."

Jacobson, her sisters and her parents also swam with dolphins, went para-sailing and enjoyed island ice cream.

"We felt so fortunate to get a gift from Make-A-Wish.  It is not cheap to send a family of six to Hawaii," says Eric Jacobson, Mary's father.

Adds her mother Nancy, "We made the most of each day. We didn't take it for granted."

When Jacobson got back from her trip, she still had money left from Make-A-Wish. Instead of spending it, she donated $800 back to the organization to help fund other children's wish experiences.

"We are really thankful that Make-A-Wish could make my dream come true. We were happy to give back and make other dreams come true," she says.

In Indiana, more than 300 kids are waiting for their wishes to be granted by Make-A-Wish. The average cost of a wish is about $8,000.

Click here to learn more about Make-A-Wish.

Watch CBS4 on the second Wednesday each month for Nicole Pence's special Wishful Wednesday stories.

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