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Richfield teen with rare genetic condition gets her wish granted

Posted at 10:58 AM, Jul 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-23 12:06:50-04

A Richfield girl with a very rare genetic condition that impacts her ability to speak and move, got an awesome surprise Sunday.

In addition to her multiple health issues, Raphi Gehrung is battling congestive heart failure. Because of her condition, she can't go on an airplane or take a trip. So, Make-A-Wish Wisconsin got creative.

"At first, I was like, oh that's a really tall wish, but we went ahead and we asked, and they were able to find one that worked for her and she loves it."

Their wish for Raphi was a train she can ride all the time at home.

"She just loves riding trains. It first started probably about five years ago when we started road trips to the Mayo Clinic. There was a train in WI dells, and I would bribe her if you do this, get done with this, on the way home we will ride that train. And we would go and she would ride, ride, ride until I made her get off."

Raphi had no idea there'd be a train in her backyard, along with a candy bar and full picnic party, when she got home Sunday. Her cousins and dad rode it with her.

"The train, a candy bar, this is like her dream. We're probably going to have to pull her off that thing before bed. Heck, she might sleep in it!"

This wish may be a simple one, but the result is extraordinary. 

Make-A-Wish Wisconsin got help from a lot of community volunteers to pull this one off. A group of students from Hamilton High School in Sussex organized a 5K and raised nearly $40,000 for the organization, in honor of Raphi.