dahl make a wish family

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- For children battling critical illnesses, a "wish" can be the light that gets them through dark times. 

But right now hundreds of wishes through the Make-A-Wish Foundation are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including 13-year-old Benjamin Dahl from Las Vegas. 

He and his family were suppose to go to Disney World in Florida next week. 

Benjamin has cystic fibrosis, and so do his three siblings. They were all diagnosed within a two-year period. 

Four siblings all battling the same disease, yet Kerri considers her family lucky. She said aside from normal ups and downs, her kids are healthy and their cystic fibrosis has been mild. 

"We also have the benefit of all four of them having cystic fibrosis. That sounds a little weird but most CF kids have to stay 6 feet apart from any other cystic fibrosis patient. My kids get to go through this together," said Kerri. 

They go to clinic together, they do their nebulizer treatments together, they quarantine together and they all made wishes through the foundation.

Kristen is the oldest at 18. She said she’ll never forget the moment she stepped off the plane in Kona, Hawaii last summer.

"I could tell the difference in environment, it felt so much cleaner," she said. 

Kristen's wish was to swim with manta rays. She and her family spent a week in Hawaii where she got to live out her wish and more. She also swam with dolphins.

[The Make-A-Wish Foundation] asks specific details to see what children are interested in, excited about and what their wish looks like. 

Benjamin, 13, was going to find out what the foundation planned for his wish in April. Instead of beaches and animals, he prefers roller coasters and Star Wars. He said he was looking forward to the Rising Resistance attraction. 

Now he doesn't know when he'll go.

"We’ll just kind of go day-by-day and see how this all works out," said Ryan Dahl.  

Ryan and Kerri said they feel blessed knowing their kids are healthy enough to wait for their trip to reschedule.

Kerri said as long as Kristen, Joseph, Benjamin and Rebecca are healthy, they don't mind waiting. Joseph, 15, and Rebecca, 9, were already waiting for their wishes. Joseph's wish is to go to Weta workshop in New Zealand and just like her big sister, Rebecca wants to spend time with animals in Australia. 

"Every single person in Make-A-Wish is there because they want to make a difference for a kid who is struggling with something very serious. We’re so grateful for all of them," said Kerri. 

The foundation said it is monitoring the situation and working with health officials to determine when it is safe to travel and be in large crowds again. 

The Dahl family is one of 26 families in Southern Nevada who's wish is on hold. To help lift their spirits, the foundation has launched the "Messages of Hope" campaign:

'Messages of Hope' gives people a fun, easy and impactful way to build excitement and motivation for children with critical illnesses without needing to leave the house. We’re asking the entire community to participate. Just write, record, or photograph a message of hope for wish kids waiting for their wish and post the message on any social media channel with the hashtag, #WishesAreWaiting. Then tag @MakeAWishSNV. Tag a few friends because the more messages received, the greater the impact. We know that the anticipation of a wish-come-true can be a powerful motivator for wish kids to overcome the challenges they face. -- VP & Marketing Director Nina Radetich. 

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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