Excellus BCBS, Tenting World collaborate on Make-A-Want reveal occasion

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Camping dreams come true for five young dreamers

Syracuse, NY – Excellus BlueCross BlueShield was proud to be part of a special Make-A-Wish reveal held at Camping World in Syracuse on Friday, June 25th. This event was generously supported by Camping World and Excellus BCBS. The reveal gave five critically ill children 2021 Gulf Stream Enlighten 25BH campers to fulfill their camping dreams.

This event was supported by the Central New York, Southern Tier, and Utica Regions of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. This is the first time these regions have worked together on a Make-A-Wish event. The company was proud to attend the event and give each child a special gift for their camper.

“Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is very excited to be part of this Wish reveal. It is incredibly special to be able to contribute to a wish that affects not just one intended child, but five intended children at the same time, ”said Lisa A. White, SVP, Chief Compliance and Risk Officer at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. Lisa has been a volunteer for Make-A-Wish for four years and is currently the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees.

“It is so rewarding to be able to give hope and strength to a child faced with a serious illness to keep the fight going by giving them something to look forward to,” she said. “It doesn’t just affect the child you want, but the whole family.”

The recipients in Central New York were Angeliese Parrilla (16) from Syracuse, Delanie Zimmer (14) from Liverpool and Callin Mack (6) from Sterling.

16-year-old Angeliese and her family in front of their new motorhome, together with Lisa White, SVP Chief Compliance and Risk Officer of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (right center) and Kelly Garafolo from Camping World (right).

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield CNY Regional President Mark Muthumbi (left center) together with Make-A-Wish representatives and Kelly Garafolo (right) from Camping World present their wish to 14-year-old Delanie.

– Desired recipient Callin (center) with his family together with Kelly Garafolo from Camping World (left) and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Director of Corporate Communications Aida Byrne (right) celebrate the fulfillment of his wish.

Angeliese was born with a congenital heart defect. Throughout her young life, she has endured many doctor visits, exams, and procedures, including a cardiac catheterization exam in 2018. While treatment for the condition is ongoing, Angeliese is strong and determined to live life as it comes. This calm girl loves science, nature and animals and wants to become a veterinarian one day. She looks forward to traveling and exploring in her new camper.

Delanie loves animals, especially her horses Zeus and Cooper. Most of the time, she’s your typical teen who enjoys playing the clarinet, studying geosciences in school, and eating her favorite food – spicy chicken wings and pizza. But as a child, Delanie was diagnosed with a rare condition called tuberous sclerosis. The condition caused numerous tumors throughout her body, triggered seizures, and resulted in heart, skin, brain, eye, and kidney problems. Delanie has to travel to Boston annually for treatment by a specialist who fortunately found a combination of drugs to keep her seizures under control. Although there is no cure for her condition, Delanie is active and focused on her passion for horses. She particularly enjoys traveling to horse shows and horse shows, specializing in English and western riding, as well as hunter jumper and barrel racing competitions. Delanie wanted a mobile home to make it easier to get to the shows. She looks forward to more road trips and competitions and to being able to hang out with friends afterwards!

Callin is a friendly, happy boy with a lot of humor. He enjoys playing with LEGOs and magnetic toys and loves being with his family. In August 2018, Callin went to the ophthalmologist for a routine check-up. During the appointment, his doctor found that Callin had no vision in his left eye. Scans were recommended and a diagnosis was made: Callin had a rare, benign brain tumor called craniopharyngioma. Once diagnosed, Callin underwent radiation and multiple procedures, including surgery. The location of the tumor has caused some physical problems, and Callin will continue to be monitored by his doctors indefinitely. However, despite the challenges, this cheerful boy is intrepid. Callin asked for an RV so he could go camping with his family. He especially looks forward to playing on the beach and making s’mores by the campfire.

“Callin is a remarkable little boy,” said his mother, Brittany. “To think of all the battles he fought at such a young age and still remain hopeful, thoughtful and positive is honestly more than we ever expected of him. Nothing can take away his smile and his joie de vivre. “


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