We are proud to announce our partnership with the Make-A-Wish foundation, an organization whose volunteers have brought joy to countless numbers of sick children. Join us on December 6th for SantaConcert --a special Make-A-Wish concert event at Davies Symphony Hall.
Meet Michael: Our own Make-A-Wish Child
SFGMC Tenor Michael McGovern received a "wish" of his very own during a battle with cancer. Here is his story, as told by his father: During the summer of 1986, we were vacationing on Nantucket Island. Marcie’s parents were on a three-week trip in Europe, and the empty house on the water was too inviting to pass up for a quick getaway. 2 ½-year-old Michael and his older brother Phil were horsing around in the breakfast nook one evening when Michael fell back onto the edge of the bench, hit his shoulder, and started crying. Mom discovered a suspicious lump on his shoulder and took him to the doctor the next day. The doctor was very concerned by the lump and rather emphatic that we should see our pediatrician as soon as possible. We arrived at Dr. Norman Weinberger‘s office first thing on Monday. He looked at the lump on Michael’s shoulder and scheduled a consultation with Dr. Sue McIntosh at Yale New Haven’s oncology practice, who had one look at Michael’s lump and scheduled surgery to determine the pathology of the tumor. The attending surgeon, Dr. Seashore, reported that Michael had a rare form of muscle cancer: rhabdomyosarcoma. Michael was a brave soldier and submitted to multiple invasive procedures and horrible elixirs in preparation for the follow-up surgery the next day. They removed the bulk of the muscle on his scapula bone and several “involved” lymph nodes around his shoulder and down his right arm. Michael was immediately started on an aggressive regimen of three specific chemotherapy drugs sequencing in one-, two, and three-week protocol timetables and a week off, plus 25 radiation treatments over 18 months. In the months following his treatment at Yale New Haven Hospital, the staff in Dr. McIntosh’s office referred us to the Make a Wish (MAW) Foundation of Connecticut. We were not too familiar with MAW Foundation, but the MAW volunteers did a fantastic job dealing with our very emotional response to their proposal and reminded me that the MAW Foundation approach was for our son. He wanted to see Mickey and all the Disney characters (prompted by Phil, I’m sure), and we began planning his “wish,” which became something Michael started looking forward to. At 3 years old he was beginning to see the relationship his wish had to his many visits to the doctor’s office and the ever-present needles, blood work, and tests. We are one of the fortunate families, and we thank God every day for our blessings. Michael got his wish, and it helped give him the strength to beat the odds. He graduated with honors from high school, and has a BS in Biology/pre-med from The University of San Francisco. Gymnastics classes and tennis mitigated much of the debilitating effects of the surgery and radiation treatments. Michael turned 28 last January and is a smart, attractive, gifted young man with great passion for music and performance, and has been able to spend time “giving back” for all his blessings, dedicating time and resources to worthy charities and foundations.