A camping "Wish" granted

The Make-A-Wish Foundation presented 12-year-old Sadie Lentz (center, seated) and her family with a camper. The foundation orchestrated a drive-by celebration for the Lentz family that took place on Saturday, Jan. 16. Featured (from left) are mother, Sheila Lentz; 9-year-old sister, Rylie Lentz; 12-year-old sister Alexis Lentz, and father, Steven Lentz.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation presented 12-year-old Sadie Lentz (center, seated) and her family with a camper. The foundation orchestrated a drive-by celebration for the Lentz family that took place on Saturday, Jan. 16. Featured (from left) are mother, Sheila Lentz; 9-year-old sister, Rylie Lentz; 12-year-old sister Alexis Lentz, and father, Steven Lentz. Photo by Katelynn Farley.

On Saturday, Jan. 16, 12-year-old Crestview Middle School student Sadie Lentz, along with her family, were able to experience a drive-by parade celebration that was put on by the Make-A-Wish foundation.

November 2020 marked the one-year anniversary of Sadie undergoing major surgery on her brain to correct a seizure disorder. Because of her surgery, Sadie was eligible to “Make-A-Wish” and opted to ask for a camper for her family.

Steven Lentz, Sadie’s father, says that Sadie has come a long way since her surgery. Before the surgery, she would have upwards of 120 seizures in a day.

“Now, we maybe notice about a dozen a week,” Steven said. “The way (the doctors) explained it to us is that it’s like someone hit the side of the TV and now the picture’s coming in clear. It’s been really great.”

Sadie’s condition caused her to experience absence seizures. According to the Mayo Clinic website, an absence seizure is characterized by staring into space or subtle body movements and can cause a brief loss of awareness.

Make-A-Wish Senior Advancement Officer Jenny Boyd said that Make-A-Wish would typically put on a large celebration when a “Wish” has been granted.

“Because of COVID-19, obviously things had to be different,” Boyd said. “But it’s amazing to see how the teachers, police, fire and all ofthe members of the community came out to support Sadie.”

Parade-goers met in the Jefferson Plaza parking lot on Saturday afternoon and drove past the Lentz household, located on Vine Street. Representatives from Crestview Middle School, along with the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department, Huntington Police Department and the Huntington Fire Department and others were present to celebrate Sadie’s Wish.

Beth Lusch, Sadie’s bus driver, brought up the rear of the parade.

“I love Sadie. She’s so sweet,” Lusch said. “She’s my spunky little redhead.”

Crestview Principal Charles Werth sees the “spunk” in Sadie as well.

“She’s a great kid,” Werth said. “Everyone wants to support her.”

Steven and the rest of the Lentz family were “left speechless” by the show of support.

“We’re filled with so much excitement and are so thankful for the community that’s around us,” Lentz said, “And our support system that stands behind us. We’re glad that everyone was able to pull around and do this for Sadie today.”  

The Lentz family plans to eventually take the camper on trips to visit family in other parts of the country.