Make-a-Wish Connecticut helps cancer survivor throw a hometown party

PROSPECT -- Jack Walsh is alive and that alone is a reason to celebrate, “I was originally diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma in 2014 and I had surgery and chemotherapy and radiation,” he says.

The young man from Prospect can remember finding out he had Cancer, fighting it, and learning it came back, “I went back to school for half a year and then they found another tumor on the scans on my heart and I had to have open heart surgery to remove that one, says Jack.

At a time of physical, financial and emotional need Jack’s school and church turned out to help, “The town has been real supportive, everybody was just really helpful, They always volunteered to help when there was an opportunity,” Jack recalls.

Friends and strangers stepped up too with everything from meals and transportation to helping with the
Mortage. “With so much going on in the world we don’t get to see the good in people a lot
and we saw the greatness in people,” says Jack’s dad, Rick Walsh.

So if we told you a massive party filled with food, games, trivia and a whole lot of fun was the community’s way to honor Jack and his clean bill of health it would make a lot of sense, but that’s not what happened. “He could have anything he wanted and he chose to give back, says Joan Sagalski with Make-A-Wish Connecticut.

When Make-A-Wish Connecticut wanted to grant a wish for Jack, Jack’s wish was to throw this party at
the Holiday Hill Resort for everyone who supported him as he fought for his life.

“We wanted to just do something with this event to give them somethingwhere they could have a day where they could relax and have fun because of all the work they have done to help me, say Jack.

It came as a big surprise to the non-profit, “It took 2 years to decide what he wanted, and when he
did he shocked us all,” says Sagalski.

Jack’s parents were not surprised, “It speaks to Jack as a person, He is such a selfless person,” says Rick. “That’s the way he's always has been, he is a very giving person and for him to be on the receiving end of so much giving is the reason he wants to give back, so we are glad,” added Jack’s mom, Debbie Walsh.

Giving back -- with gratitude -- and a simple message for those who stood by them on Jack's road to
being well, “I just want people to know it was A tough road and we are really thankful,
thankful for them,” says Jack.

Jack tells us his recent scans have been encouraging and he's heading back to college in the fall.