Losing a child is the hardest thing a parent can experience. Instead of falling into darkness, Tiffany and Brian Ball made the decision to celebrate the life of their son Jacob through the founding of the Jacob Ball Wish Fund.
The nonprofit organization helps the families of special needs children of any level have experiences they wouldn’t normally be able to access by funding “wishes,” such as swinging in adaptive swings and playing custom percussion instruments.
Jacob’s parents started the fund after he passed away at 12 years old in 2013. Jacob never spoke verbally and was born with a variety of medical conditions, but that never stopped him from expressing himself and spreading love to those around him.
“Even on the worst day, I would come home and he would lick my cheek (that is how Jacob gave kisses) and my whole day was better,” says Tiffany.
To fund the 250 wishes that have been granted since 2013, the wish fund directors, including Jacob’s parents and grandparents, organize an annual theater production in October. Along with a “Fund a Wish” link on their website, this fundraiser gives the community opportunities to donate and make children’s wishes come true.
“Every time I get to be part of a wish I can always feel Jacob’s presence with me there with a giant smile and a ‘lick,’” says Tiffany.
As they organize their 2020 show, Tiffany looks to the future of the organization and its impact on local families. She says she hopes to fund larger wishes as funding increases, but ultimately wants to continue spreading her son’s legacy.
“Live for the joy of Jacob,” she says. “Try to live by that motto, and try to share joy with any person we come in contact with in our daily lives.”
Wish Upon A Star