Sometimes you just need a “feel good” story. Something that after reading it you are smiling, your opinion of humanity a bit better and you have that warm fuzzy feeling, if only for a moment. Sabrina Wisher-DeWitt and her foundation, Mikayla’s Miracles & Blessings, help make those kinds of stories possible for kids, over 1,500 of them just last year.
Mikayla’s Miracles & Blessings Foundation was founded by Sabrina Wisher-DeWitt and her family after her daughter, Mikayla, the inspiration behind the foundation, was diagnosed with Aicardi Syndrome at two-and-a-half-months old. Aicardi Syndrome affects very few people worldwide and this rare disorder is thought by doctors and researchers to result from a defect on an X chromosome. In the early stages of the disease, the tissue that connects the left and right sides of the brain become underdeveloped or even absent, causing a cascade of biological consequences, many of which are severe and life threatening.
Mikayla’s parents were told she would not be able to walk or talk and wasn’t expected to live past the age of one. Mikayla suffered recurring bouts of pneumonia 44 times by the age of five. Mikayla still fights to stay alive today, with her family not only cheering her on, but being inspired by her and helping others, including Shelby High School 2019 grad, Nick Kuster.
After graduating Nick went on to attend his freshman year at the University of Montana in Missoula. Not having his own vehicle and being wheelchair-bound limited his freedom and options, something others around Nick noticed.
“I received a call from an individual, asking if I had a van that could meet the needs of Nick Kuster,” said Wisher-DeWitt. “Of course, they could not tell me his name because of the HIPPA laws, but little did they know I had already known the family for some time. I called his mom, Jennifer, and told her. Excited is an understatement.”
The phone call took place early last spring, late winter, right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The next five months of craziness passed and it was time for Nick to return to college for his sophomore year. His mom called Wisher-DeWitt back and asked if she still had a van for Nick.
“Absolutely, I told her, with his name all over it,” was Wisher-DeWitt’s response.
On Saturday, Aug. 29, Wisher-DeWitt and a few other members of Mikayla’s Miracles Foundation made the trip from Whitefish to the University of Montana campus to drop Nick off his new wheels and ticket to new-found freedom.
“They have given me the freedom to go wherever I want,” said Nick. “I couldn’t be more thankful to Sabrina Wisher-DeWitt and the rest of the family. It would not be the same without them. I don’t think it’s overstated to say they’ve changed my life.”
Mission accomplished, as changing lives for the better is what Mikayla’s Miracle & Blessings Foundation is all about. Wisher-DeWitt has been in their shoes and understands the anxiety of the unknown and not knowing who to even call for help.
“I am teased often as I want to save them all and I try very hard,” said Wisher-DeWitt. “I have been in their shoes, so I believe everyone needs a “Sabrina” in their lives.”
Nick is one who would whole-heartedly agree after the impact Wisher-DeWitt has had on his life. There are many others who could attest to the same as the foundation continues to help whoever it possibly can. Each year the foundation, with the help of Wisher’s Auto Recycling, donates a van to a family in need, but that is not the only assistance Mikayla’s Miracles & Blessings offers. The foundation also assists parents or spouses supporting someone with special needs in locating and securing funds to improve their family’s quality of life and help families obtain life-enhancing equipment that Medicaid or insurance can’t, or won’t, let them receive.
Nick will never forget the kindness and generosity shown to him by Wisher-DeWitt and Mikayla’s Miracles & Blessings and will forever be grateful for the freedom and opportunity provided by them. But what he might not realize is that he is also a blessing to them.
“I had never personally met Nick until we brought him the van,” said Wisher-DeWitt. “I know my foundation was blessing him, but I can honestly say we all left that day blessed by Nick. I am a firm believer God crosses your path with other people for a purpose! I am thankful our paths were crossed.”
Nick is also grateful their paths crossed and is even more grateful for his mom, Jennifer, who just seems to know the right people.
“I want to thank my mother, for knowing people,” said Nick. “And I want to thank Sabrina and the foundation. If you’re out there looking for something like this don’t mess around. Go to them first and if they can’t help you, they know who can!”
For more information on Mikayla’s Miracles & Blessings Foundation, or if you, or someone you know, are in need of help, visit the website at www.mmabf.com.