We all have something special we'd like to wish for.
Few of us would wish, with all our hearts, for a bathroom.
Yet that was the wish of 13-year-old Kevin Casper of Lewiston, who suffers from a bone disease called osteogenesis imperfecta. It's a condition that degenerates the bone density, making the skeletal system very fragile and weak.
Kevin is unable to bear weight and is confined to his wheelchair. His best friend -- outside of his family -- is his dog, Cami, a "mobility service" dog "who goes with Kevin to school, gets his books out of his book bag, gets his clothes for him" and does many other tasks, said Kevin's mother, Susan Casper.
Unlike most youngsters who have received the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western New York, Kevin has not asked for a trip to Disney World, a computer, or a meeting with a celebrity. Kevin just wanted a bathroom to suit his needs and give him privacy and independence.
In cooperation with Former Troopers Helping Hands Inc., his dream will come true beginning at 5 p.m. Monday, when construction begins on a handicapped-accessible bathroom at his George Street home in Lewiston.
"As it is now," said Christine Carr, executive director of the Make-A-Wish Foundation,"the bathroom is on the second floor, and Kevin must be carried upstairs to the bathroom several times daily. Each time, Kevin is at risk of breaking his bones by simply bumping an arm or a leg against the wall of the stairwell.
"Several times in the past, he has broken his bones while being carried up those stairs. Their home does not have any type of handicapped-accessible facilities for Kevin to use."
"We're extremely excited," Mrs. Casper said. "Kevin feels as if it's a dream come true. He's lived with a lot of pain and a lot of suffering. All he's ever wanted was just a little bit of dignity like going to the bathroom by himself. We are overwhelmed by the support the community has shown."
The Foundation and Former Troopers Helping Hands are volunteer-based charities dedicated to granting wishes to children who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses.