Harry McGovern had the entire store to himself, or so it seemed. In his mind, the many young patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital strolled the aisles alongside the Mercer Island resident at Macy’s in Bellevue on Oct. 31.
The 14-year-old Mercer Island High School freshman — who is in complete remission from Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma — said the patients were with him in spirit during his Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington morning shopping visit to pick out pillows and additional items for comfort kits/gift bags. The care packages, which he will deliver later this year during national Believe Week, are for 25 patients in the oncology ward and the nursing staff.
With support from the Macy’s Believe campaign, Make-A-Wish grants wishes for children with critical illnesses, and Macy’s lent an extra hand by donating several items for the kits.
McGovern, who was diagnosed in April and underwent chemotherapy for five-plus months, is currently doing monthly follow-up visits with his doctor without any further chemotherapy.
“I feel a thousand times better than I did two months ago. I’m in better spirits mentally and physically and life’s been on the uptick since I got out,” said McGovern.
McGovern is thankful for the Make-A-Wish opportunity to help make a change for the patients.
“If I can do what I can to at least make such an uncomfortable, and honestly awful experience as chemotherapy, a little easier for these kids then I’m gonna try my best to do that,” he said. “Even though I didn’t have the opportunity to meet any of these kids (because of COVID restrictions), I knew deep down that they were suffering in silence just as much as I was.”
Comfort and positivity are what he hopes to bring to those who will be on the receiving end of his care packages.
McGovern’s parents, Ann and Edward, are proud of their son reaching out to others for his wish. Ann said the McGoverns were fortunate to have the Mercer Island community’s support for Harry during his treatment.
While at home, McGovern has been adapting to remote learning and especially enjoys his math, writing and computer science courses. He aims to take some human anatomy courses soon, and has been getting his strength back to hopefully return to playing tennis and biking.
“Harry’s wish to provide comfort kit bags to children in-patient at Seattle Children’s simply put is incredible,” reads a statement from Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington. “Everyone who hears about his wish is moved because it’s not every day that we receive a wish request that is so selfless and caring. We’re so thankful to his volunteers and our long-standing partner, Macy’s, who are generously donating items for his wish.”