Excellus BlueCross BlueShield was proud to participate in a special Make-A-Wish Central New York reveal held on Wednesday, August 31, 2022. The reveal was a wish come true for twelve-year-old Serenity of Dolgeville, NY, who has a nervous system disorder.

In partnership with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Make-A-Wish Central New York was able to grant Serenity’s unique wish to camp with wolves. Serenity loves animals, particularly wolves. She has a collection of over a dozen stuffed wolves and always wanted one as a pet. Her wish is to camp with wolves in their natural habitat and experience all the wonders of these amazing animals.

Representatives from Make-A-Wish and Excellus BCBS joined Serenity and her family at Applebee’s in Herkimer to reveal that her wish was coming true. Serenity will be going on a four-night trip that includes a visit to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT where she will go on an animal encounter cruise and feed sting rays. She will end her adventure by camping with wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY.

“Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is thrilled to partner with Make-A-Wish to help grant this amazing wish for Serenity,” said Utica Regional President Eve Van de Wal.

“We are grateful to be able to help create this fun and memorable experience for a family facing the incredible challenges of critical illness.”

In addition to animals, Serenity loves video games, tacos, chocolate cake, and dragon movies. She started showing signs of a nervous system disorder when she was nine years old. “She started having seizures – all types of seizures, over 200 a day,” recalls mom Desiree. To control her seizures, she was put into a medically induced coma for over a month. Her condition is resistant to medicine, but they have found a combination of medications that severely limit her seizure episodes. “It’s hard for her to sleep, and it impacts her performance at school and her memory, but Serenity is tough,” explains Desiree. “While she can’t have a pet wolf, camping with wolves will give her the opportunity to see them in person, which is the next best thing. She’s excited to have her wish come true.”

About Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company’s mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. With more than 3,500 employees, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. To learn more, visit ExcellusBCBS.com.

About Make-A-Wish® Central New York

Make-A-Wish Central New York is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to granting life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses throughout the central portion of New York State. Part of a global wish-granting organization, the chapter was founded in 1985 and has granted over 2,000 wishes for children throughout its 15-county footprint, which includes Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Otsego, St. Lawrence, Tioga and Tompkins counties. With over 180 wishes in process, the organization needs the support of generous community and corporate partners more than ever before. To lend support or learn more, visit cny.wish.org, email info@cny.wish.org, or call 315-475-WISH (9474) | 800-846-9474.