Critically Ill Child Receives Surprise Wish - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Critically Ill Child Receives Surprise Wish

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

An almost 3-year-old boy received one of his wishes Thursday evening, thanks to the Montana Association of Troopers and the Montana Hope Project. Ryder Hoyem has been battling congenital heart issues since he was five months old. Next weekend, he gets to forget all about it, with a trip to Disney World. His older brothers and sister and his parents will also be along for the magical ride.

Ryder's mother, Crystal said, "We ended up being in the hospital and gone almost two months from everybody. It could've ended up being longer than that. There's probably stuff in the future. But, it's nice we get to do something fun and not have to think about medical issues or therapies." While Ryder received $1,000 in spending cash, his siblings also received $100 each.

The Montana Hope Project started in 1984 by a couple of troopers in Kalispell. There are now several operations for the organization across the state. The organization's mission is to grant wishes to critically ill Montana children from ages two to 18. The Montana Association of Troopers is the sponsoring agency. The eastern Montana coordinator, Dave Evans, told KULR-8 that there is an application process children have to go through to be picked for a wish. The Montana Association of Troopers determines what is an acceptable amount to spend on a particular wish. "Normally, we used to cut it off at $10,000 unless we had gone through the board and had permission to go higher, which I have done a couple of times." After the troopers association determines a price, the board then goes through the president of the organization. The president approves the wish and then it's sent to the wish coordinator, who sets up the trip or whatever the wish may be.

Some children who qualify for a wish are contacted directly, while others contact the organization directly thanks to word-of-mouth or hospitals that mention to parents what the Montana Hope Project does.

Since it's beginning, the Montana Hope Project has given away 462 wishes. Ryder's wish is the first one for the organization for the new year.

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