Mississippi teen makes a wish to end hunger

by mcardinal

Marion Bae, FISM News


A teenage boy from Jackson, Mississippi has captivated media outlets around the country with his selflessness even in the face of terminal illness. 

When Adeola “Abraham” Olagbegi was 13 years old he was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a disease that required a bone marrow transplant and was potentially fatal. He received a bone marrow transplant from a stranger in November of 2020 and is expected to make a full recovery.

Abraham told local news outlet WLBT-3, “I’m a person of hope, so when you come against a big mountain you have to remember that you have a big God.”

As a child battling with a serious illness, Abraham was eligible to receive a “wish” from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Make-A-Wish is a global non-profit that has been known in the past to grant recipients once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, like throwing the first baseball at a professional game or getting a trip to Disney World.

With the world at his fingertips, however, Abraham chose something with a greater impact: feeding the homeless. His request was that the homeless in his community be fed one day a month for a year, and the Mississippi chapter of the Foundation was happy to grant this wish.

Linda Sermons, a representative for the Mississippi chapter of Make-A-Wish told WTBC-3, “We were excited. This is our first philanthropic wish in our 20 plus years as a chapter in this state, so it’s a huge milestone for us, but also this is the first meal that Abraham is able to serve,”

Kerry Sanders from NBC News interviewed Abraham and his mother, Miriam, over a video call last month. When he asked Miriam her thoughts on her son’s choice to feed the homeless, rather than get a gift for himself, she said, “It overwhelms me. It just gives me so much joy.”

Abraham told Sanders that he chose feeding the homeless over a PlayStation, one of many things he could have chosen, because he didn’t feel like that kind of wish would do justice to the pain he went through during his illness. 

Each month Abraham’s wish, an effort he calls Abraham’s Table, provides around 80 meals, which would equal just under 1,000 meals given by the time his wish ends in September of 2022. But Abraham has decided that this won’t mark the end of his journey.

In November, a GoFundMe page was started to fund the future efforts of Abraham’s Table after the year with Make-A-Wish is up. The fundraiser has so far received 35 donations equaling just over $6,000.

The logo for Abraham’s Table references Psalm 34:8, which says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” (NIV)

Abraham’s giving heart serves as an example to all of us this Christmas Season that it is better to give than to receive.