Bothell family to honor inspirational youth at Walk for Wishes
By TIM WATANABE
Bothell Reporter Reporter
September 14, 2012 · Updated 1:37 PM
A Bothell family who lost a child to obstructive pulmonary disease in late 2010 will honor his memory by walking as a team as part of Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington's annual Walk for Wishes on Sunday, Sept. 23 at Marymoor Park in Redmond.
"Team Hope Strength and Joy" honors Cullen Rogers, who himself led teams for the annual event before his death in 2010. At that year's walk, Cullen was named the top individual fundraiser, having raised more than $6,300 on his own.
Cullen's wish to meet his hero, Felix Hernandez, was granted in 2008.
The Mariners' ace pitcher, who pitched the 23rd perfect game in Major League history on August 15, was "extraordinarily generous with his time" according to Shelley Rogers, Cullen's mother, and made Cullen's day incredibly special. The meeting inspired Cullen to help raise funds so other kids could have their own wishes granted.
Shelley is the one heading up the team.
"Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington has done so much for Cullen and our family, we want to make sure other families have the same experience," she said. "Cullen's wish day made such an incredible difference in his journey he wanted to help other children that had life threatening medical conditions have the same opportunity. He knew that getting their wish granted would help them through their medical journey and be better for it. We in turn have carried on this tradition to honor him, but more importantly, as a wish family, we know the power of a wish."
The fourth annual Walk for Wishes is a family-friendly community event, 5K walk and fun run, and is enjoyable for all ages. It will feature kids' activities, refreshments and entertainment.
The community is invited to join the walk or contribute online at http://www.nwwishes.org/donate/walk12.asp.
Marymoor Park is located at 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Pkwy. N.E., with check-in for the event starting at 8:45 a.m. and the walk starting promptly at 9 a.m.
This year, the local Make-A-Wish chapter will grant nearly 300 wishes. For more information about Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington please call (800) 304-9474, visit www.northwestwishes.org or connect with us at www.facebook.com/northwestwishes or on Twitter @MakeAWishAKWA.
Felix Hernandez photos courtesy of Ben VanHouten and the Seattle Mariners