Melissa Wheeler, Farm Bureau

The North Bend Eagle


Make-A-Wish makes little girl very happy

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 5/5/21

April 29 was world Wish Day, marking the 41st anniversary of the first Make-A-Wish granted. And North Bend got to be part of the celebration.

Wish house
Aspen Dvorak is all smiles in front of her new playhouse and chicken coop. She designed the house herself.

Aspen Dvorak, 7, had her wish granted April 29, with all the celebration and excitement that day deserved.

At five-and-a-half, a cancerous lump was removed from Aspen’s neck. The size of a large baked potato, the surgery left her with vocal cord paralysis and difficulty eating and drinking. After two weeks in the hospital and another two weeks in Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, Aspen returned to her family home north of North Bend. Aspen and her mother, Kris, made trips to Madonna three times a week for continued therapy. Slowly she regained control of her speech and ability to eat.

“Aspen set herself a goal to start kindergarten able to eat what she wanted and not with a feeding tube,” Kris said. “She started school Aug. 20 and had almost mastered all foods and drinks. After 137 days, Aspen and her NG tube broke up and it was removed Aug. 21.”

When Aspen was diagnosed, her sisters helped lift her spirits by taking her to farm stores to see the baby chickens and ducks. When she was in the hospital, her sisters Allie, Ashley and Andrea requested people send her chicken items to cheer her up. Soon live chickens arrived and were given a home on the Dvorak farm. The #OneToughChick hashtag was coined to describe the way she attacked her cancer challenge.

When Aspen found out she was granted a Make-A-Wish, she knew exactly what she wanted. She even drew up the plans for her playhouse/chicken coop. She watched with anticipation as foundation cement was poured a few weeks ago. When her mom had her wear her Make-A-Wish shirt to school, she knew this was the day. And the day did not go off quietly.

Her classmates at North Bend Elementary gave her a sendoff reserved for state champions. The North Bend Fire Department and Dodge County Sheriff were there to escort her home for the big reveal. Her parents, Dan and Kris Dvorak, and nieces rode in the firetruck with her. When they arrived at the house, Dan, Kris and Aspen were blindfolded, stood in front of the playhouse for the big reveal. They were thrilled to see the long dreamed about house finally in place.


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