MISSOULA, Mont. - Piper Heinz is a 6-year-old girl who lives with her parents and brother in Victor. At a young age Piper was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis is a progressive genetic disease that causes continuous lung infections and limits a person’s ability to breathe over time. In a child’s case it also affects their digestive system.
The disease confines Piper to her home because she can’t be exposed to too many germs. Her favorite thing to do is camping, but she can’t do much of it because she’s limited as to where she can go.
Through Make-A-Wish Montana Piper was given the chance to push past her illness and do what she loves. The foundation gifted Piper and her family a camper.
“I am so excited to go camping,” Piper said. “I told my mommy maybe tomorrow we can go camping.”
Since 1987 Make-A-Wish has granted more than 520 wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions living in the 56 counties of Montana.
Officials say they have granted trips like Disney World, celebrity meetings or shopping sprees -- but never a camper.
“It’s an opportunity for us to give hope, strength and joy to a whole community,” Make-A-Wish Montana CEO Doug Koester said. “You can see it right on Piper’s smiling face.”
Piper says she’s aware of her disease but won’t let it come in the way of having fun in her new camper.
The camper was paid for purely by donations from Montanans, corporations, foundations, schools and organizations.
Piper says she’s excited to go camping and enjoy sleeping under the stars.