Matty, 13 has an on-going medical condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which affects his bones, among many other things. Since he was born with this condition, Matty doesn't know life without having a serious illness- but that hasn't stopped him from exploring all life has to offer.
"Matthew endures all of this with a smile on his face, and he never complains. He amazes us each and every day…From the time Matthew was born, he would lay in his hospital bed with one arm raised in the air like a fighter saying, ‘I am going to win this fight,’” said Taryn, Matty’s mom. Just like other children, Matty loves pizza, grilled cheese, and watching movies with his family. He also has a love for puppets, so Matty wished to become a puppeteer. “Regardless of what Matty is doing for enjoyment, it always comes back to puppets. He loves making puppets of his favorite characters and singers. He has hundreds of them,” said Taryn.
Matty’s family became familiar with Make-A-Wish over the years through family friends that have children who were granted wishes through the organization. They told Taryn “how wonderful their experiences were, and how life-changing it was for their children.”
On May 7, 2015 Matty’s mom was a speaker at Make-A-Wish New Hampshire’s annual Breakfast for Wishes event. After her speech, wish granters announced Matty’s wish had come true, and the family was leaving right after the breakfast to go to Florida! Matty, his parents, and his two younger brothers boarded a plane to Orlando and met up with Matty’s grandparents and school aid to explore the Disney and Universal theme parks. They stayed at the Give Kids the World Village, as well as the Nickelodeon Suites Resort.
Matty’s favorite part of the trip was going to MicheLee Puppets, where Matty and his brothers got to make their own puppets and be puppeteers in a movie. Matty absolutely loved learning the puppeteering techniques! He also loved going backstage and meeting the puppeteers that work at the
Disney theme parks. “Matthew loves puppeteering, and being able to put himself in someone else’s shoes, whether it be fact or fictional, using his imagination…[his wish]gives him hope that maybe one day he will be able to be a Disney puppeteer,” said Taryn.
During his wish trip at Disney, Matty was surprised by professional puppeteer John Taraglia, star of Disney Channel’s “Johnny and the Sprites.” John and Matty spent the morning together practicing the new skills Matty had learned at MicheLee Puppets. At the end of the day, MicheLee Puppets presented Matty with an “Honorary Puppeteer”framed certificate and button, as well as new books and puppets to add to his collection. Matty’s magical wish was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the memories from his wish trip will stay with him forever.
“It has made such a positive impact on our family,” said Taryn.