Lawrence County school cheers as Make-A-Wish grants girl’s wish

Published: May. 8, 2023 at 6:04 PM CDT|Updated: May. 8, 2023 at 6:26 PM CDT
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IMBODEN, Ark. (KAIT) - Cheers from the Bill McCurley Gym in Imboden could be heard across town as the Sloan-Hendrix School District granted her wish from Make-A-Wish.

Emery Bates suffers from a disease known as Metachromatic leukodystrophy, which can cause a loss of mental and physical skills.

She is the daughter of Sloan-Hedrix Sr. Boys Basketball Coach Daniel Bates.

Students and teachers filled the gymnasium on Monday afternoon to watch Emery’s wish for a pool be granted.

With Emery’s wish being a pool, those in attendance wore festive shirts and sunglasses, among other items.

The Bates family said they couldn’t thank the community enough for their help in granting the wish.

“Words can’t really describe it,” Daniel Bates said. “The way me and my family feel about this place and this community is that God placed us here because he knew this was going to happen, and he knew they were going to take care of us and treat us like family, and they have.”

Students were able to raise around $9,000 to ensure Emery’s wish was granted.

The wish isn’t just for leisure but will help Emery in her fight against MLD.

“Not only does she absolutely love to go swimming, but it’s also great for her body. Great for her muscles. Especially with this disease, it’s the perfect gift for what she needs,” said Bates.