The wonder of giving comes in many forms. For the 12th year, Macy’s is partnering with Make-A-Wish for our annual Believe campaign, helping make wishes come true across the country for children with critical illnesses. Each story is different, but the goal is the same. Granting a wish can help these children build the hope and strength they need to fight harder and see the impossible become possible.
Hank Cazier is a 19-year-old from Idaho who was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. Since 2015, Hank has had 31 rounds of radiation, chemotherapy, brain surgery and has lost nearly all his motor abilities. Despite these challenges, Hank is like any other teenager. He loves music, playing games with his family and has big dreams. One of his dreams was to become a model for a major clothing company. That's when Macy's and Make-A-Wish Idaho teamed up to make his dream come true.
In August, Hank traveled from his small town in Idaho to our photo studios in the Big Apple to be part of our annual holiday campaign. During the two-day photo shoot, Hank was styled by our fashion team, learned how to model and worked with our top talent.
Hank’s experience not only went beyond what he had imagined, but impacted every single Macy’s colleague involved.
“Being part of Hank's wish was one of the most fulfilling and emotional moments in my career and my life. His story impacted my team and me in ways we could not imagine. The day Hank arrived on the Macy's Holiday shoot, we were all inspired by his resilience. He was also a natural in front of the camera! The hopeful and positive energy of Hank and his family set the tone for a remarkable day. It was a gift and an honor to work with Hank and his family,” said Tracy Brennan, senior director of Fashion Identity at Macy's.
When asked what his favorite part of the photoshoot was, Hank exclaimed, “the kindness shown by everyone around me was unbelievable! The Macy's and Make-A-Wish team made me feel welcome, warm and cared for. My confidence has grown, and I have more desire to try to reach my goals because of this wonderful experience! I am truly grateful to all of the people who were involved.”
On Wednesday, November 13, a limousine picked up Hank and his family to go visit Grand Teton Mall in his hometown of Idaho Falls. Hank knew he was going to be included in our holiday gift guide, but what happened next was unexpected. Before heading to the mall, Hank’s limousine made a stop. Surrounded by friends, family, and supporters, Hank looked up to see one of his modeling photos featured on a billboard! After the unveiling, the family was driven to Macy’s at Grand Teton Mall, where he was greeted by fans asking him to autograph copies of their Macy’s holiday gift guide.
In awe and filled with pride, it was an experience no one, especially Hank, will ever forget.
“This was a dream of mine, and I never thought I’d actually make it a reality,” said Hank. “I am so humbled and grateful for the opportunity that I have had to work with Make-A-Wish and Macy’s. It has been a huge growing experience for me, and I would even consider it to be life changing.”
Giving back and bringing the magic of the holidays to our communities is part of the Macy’s tradition and at the core of who we are. We are grateful for the opportunity to meet amazing people like Hank and his family.
You, too, can change the lives of more kids like Hank. During Macy’s Believe campaign, help grant wishes that give strength and hope to children battling critical illnesses. From November 1 to December 24, for every letter to Santa dropped in a Macy’s store's big red letterbox or sent via macys.com/believe, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million.