After child's wish granted, mother joins Make-A-Wish family

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by TINA FOSTER

WFAA

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 8:27 PM

DALLAS - It was a memory that Sam Gappa won't soon forget.

He and his family got to experience a piece of history that few get to witness in person -- a space shuttle launch. The second-to-last one.

"I met an astronaut named Bruce Melnick," Sam said. "He was a commander of two shuttles."

Sam's wish was granted by Make-A-Wish North Texas.

The joy Sam received spurred his mother to action. She became a volunteer, giving back to the organization that gave to her family.

"I was just really impressed with the foundation and how they really make a wish part of someone's life, and  how special it could be for the family, as well as the wish child," Sam's mother, Theresa Gappa said.

Make-A-Wish didn't stop there.

Sam recently got to throw out the first pitch at a Rangers baseball game, and got an autographed jersey and bat from his hero, Ian Kinsler.

"He was a really nice guy," Sam said.

"They just keep caring," Theresa Gappa said. "It's not like they are going to send you on your way with one wish, and then they never want to see you again."

As a mother, and now as a volunteer, she knows how much those wishes mean.

"It gives a different perspective, I guess, as a wish mom, and how important it is to have their outreach programs," Mrs. Gappa said.

Her wish: to ensure all sick children have their dreams come true.

"You can just watch the kids having fun, kinda forgetting about what they do every day," Gappa said. "And it is extremely rewarding."

E-mail tfoster@wfaa.com

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