Make-A-Wish Flies 4-year-old to go to the zoo with her hero, Blippi
Ava Sypher-Piper was only 6 weeks old when her family found out she had persistent asthma and an auto-immune disorder that would keep her chronically sick and in and out of the hospital for years. During that time, Ava and her little brother found a new interest while relaxing at home together: a YouTube sensation named Blippi.
Ava became a super fan of the YouTube channel, becoming interested in subjects such as garbage trucks, horses, and her favorite, the catchy "Going to the Zoo" song. Blippi specializes in educational videos for children 2-6 years old. His positive attitude, ridiculously good dance moves, and playful demeanor are adored by fans worldwide, with over two billion views on YouTube alone. When Ava was granted a Make-A-Wish from the Connecticut Make a Wish, she immediately requested to go to the zoo with her hero, Blippi.
The two became friends fast, meeting at the zoo before it opened on a beautiful Sunday morning in Seattle. They had the whole zoo to themselves as they walked around and admired giraffes, lions, and Ava's favorite, the zebras. The group had a memorable day strolling through the vast outdoor zoo and enjoying each other's company. "It's something I'll never forget, we all had tears in our eyes when it was time to leave, we just stood there crying." Stevin, also known as Blippi in the toddler world, said after the event.
Although the experience only lasted a day, it made a huge impact in both Ava and Stevin's lives. Ava and her family refer to the day as "the day her wish came true", and the memory helps them through the hard times. For Stevin, who works almost exclusively in solitude in front of his computer, the reminder that his work is positively impacting kids and their families is powerful motivation to continue to create quality children's content.
Through a short visit to the zoo, Make-A-Wish gave both Stevin and Ava an impactful gift: the gift of hope for a better future and the possibility of a little magic in ordinary life.
- Alyssa Ingham