Vanessa is a teen who has never let her illness stop her from making an impact. While she battles cancer in her home country of Canada, her dream was to help others. More specifically, her wish was to clean up the ocean along the Florida coast with 4ocean. Vanessa and her family flew down to the Sunshine State to kick off her inspiring wish.
After some fun in the sun at her beach resort, Vanessa met the 4ocean crew that would help her fulfill her wish. The 4ocean team members gifted Vanessa and her family with shirts that said “4ocean is 4Vanessa,” and they instructed her on the ins and outs of ocean cleanup. Afterward, it was time for Vanessa to get to work. Vanessa first embarked on a boat and she cruised along the coast of Boca Raton picking up litter and trash that polluted the waters. Vanessa was amazed by the difference she was making by picking up the coastal waters. “We picked up as much plastic and trash that you could find in the sand and in the coastline, water…you name it!”
After collecting a sizable amount of litter and clearing up the ocean waters, Vanessa wasn’t finished with her mission. Next up was a visit to Gumbo Limbo Nature Center where she took to the sand and continued to pick up litter scattered along the shoreline. That evening, she witnessed a special sea turtle release on the shores she had just helped to clean.
At the end up the beach cleanup, Vanessa was gifted with a plaque from 4Ocean as a thank-you for making a difference in the world, making her an honorary Cleanup Crew Member. Vanessa was both humbled and honored to give back during her wish. “It was pretty much helping other people and me. I’m helping me, and I’m helping
Originating Chapter: Make-A-Wish Quebec
others, that’s a big thing…cleaning something or helping others is pretty much helping everyone in the community,” Vanessa said.