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Teen's TV trip a wish come true

It was during those days that Jayna developed a true passion for "Law and Order: SVU," a television program that features police detectives solving a new criminal case each episode.

Schenk said the doctors at Jayna's hospital recommended her to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization that helps grant the wishes of children suffering from diseases.

According to Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeast New York Stephen Schaeffer, the organization functions through that referral process.

"An ill child can be referred to the chapter through a number of different avenues," he said. "It can be from themselves, a parent or guardian, teacher, social worker or medical professional."

Once a child is referred, Schaeffer said, they are then assigned to a wish granter, who helps carry out the wish.

Jayna's wish granter was Suzanne Oliver, a seasoned wish granter, according to Schaeffer, and assistant wish granter Mary-Jane Rooney. Rooney and Oliver served as liaisons between the chapter and the family, said Schaeffer.

Schenk said the two women were very helpful in making sure Jayna got the exact wish she desired and constantly kept in contact with Schenk to check on Jayna's progress.

The women also reminded Schenk to talk to Jayna about what wish she would like to have granted.

"A lot of times, she was even too sick to think about it," said Schenk, "And other times she would write things down that she wanted."

Schenk said that Jayna was advised by the women to come up with a list of four wishes she would like to have granted, in order of importance to her. According to Schenk, fourth on the list was to go on a cruise to anywhere; third was a shopping spree in New York City; second was to be able to shadow Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" host Stephen Colbert; and first was to be able to meet the cast of "Law and Order: SVU."

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