Eleven-year-old Payton Jagger will get her wish of a trip to a Florida theme park in December, but the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana is allowing her community to be a part of passing it on.
Payton, a daughter of Josh and Sheila (Moog) Jagger of Columbia City, has a condition called Chromosome 13.32.3 depletion. According to Sheila, Payton has trouble with fine motor skills and speech. Prone to urinary tract infections and other medical conditions, she has learned to dislike doctor visits so much that she endures severe pain rather than admit and have to go to the doctor.
Payton’s condition is very rare, only 17 studied cases so far, though there could be many more.
“We didn’t know until she was six,” said Sheila, who works weekends at Sears in Columbia City.
The Columbia City Sears store and its employees are supporting Payton with a “Payton’s Wish Day” from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 13 at the store.
Those who wish may make a small donation for a chance to spin the “Wheel of Fortune” and win gifts from local businesses. Anyone wanting to make a donation or donate prizes may contact Tam Meinika at 691-2086 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
Payton is a sixth grader at Indian Springs Middle School and her mother thinks she’s “awesome.”
“You can have a really bad day and yell at her and 10 minutes later she loves you,” Sheila said.
In describing how Payton looks at the world — though she can only say “Mama” and use sign language that doesn’t require fine motor skills — her mom says, “You know how (babies) come out and look at the world in a most amazing way? She still does.”
When asked what the future prognosis is for Payton, Sheila’s eyes fill with tears, “As a parent you try not to think ahead,” she said, “you just take one day at a time.”
Prior to this year, Payton attended Mary Raber Elementary School, in a way, as a teacher.
“If my daughter can teach anybody anything, it’s empathy,” Sheila said. And if Payton could talk, her mom thinks she would say, “Just because I’m different, doesn’t mean I’m not awesome.”
Anyone giving to support Payton’s Make-A-Wish is helping the Make-A-Wish Foundation provide wishes for other children. Contact The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at the Indiana office at 7330 Woodland Drive, suite 201, Indianapolis, IN 46278; call (317)636-6060; or visit the website at www.makeawishindiana.org