One teen from New York is giving back to the Make-A-Wish organization

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ALBANY, NY – In tonight’s dose of good news… Make-A-Wish is known for giving young kids unforgettable memories.

But one teen decided to use her opportunity to help others.

Maria Luz says coming to terms with an epilepsy diagnosis in the winter she turned 12 was one of the hardest things she’s ever had to do, but at least she always had support.

“The help through my family, friends, everyone in the community helping me realize that it’s not something to be ashamed of, and it’s not my fault.” Says Maria.

Now at 17 and after a successful surgery, she says a heart-to-heart with her mom one night sparked a real brain wave to support others like her.

“There’s so many people on Facebook offering, and just begging for medication, just for one night, just one dose please, begging. And we were talking about that and I realized, why not give back instead of take.” Says Maria.

So Maria decided to use her eligibility with Make-A-Wish Northeastern New York to create the Maria Epilepsy Medication Emergency Fund. A $10,000 donation will be the first installment to help others get the life changing treatment that helped save Maria.

Make-A-Wish has many options for recipients to choose from, but giving back is rare.

“We have granted four such wishes out of the nearly 2,000 that we have granted in our 34 year history.” Says William.

“As a parent, I wanted her to get some thing for all the trouble and all the pain she’s been through, but I am very happy that she chose to help others.” Says Yvonne.

“Proud, terribly proud.” Says Richard.

Maria says she’s still reeling from the enormity of what her wish will grant for other children with epilepsy.

“Didn’t realize it till now it kinda hit me, but it does make me very happy that I can change other’s lives, even if it’s just one person.” Says Maria.

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