recently heard from a woman named Susan who had a very special story to share
with us about her son, Jason, Perfect Strangers and the Make-A-Wish
Foundation. We asked
if we could share her story with everyone, so here it is in Susan's own words:
Jason had a
severe case of Marfan's Syndrome. This is a connective tissue
disorder. Supposedly, Abraham Lincoln also had Marfan's. This disorder
is one where there is insufficient collegen in the tissue. Some of Jason's
internal tissues were almost see-through. The person with Marfan's has
tissue that stretches but does not stretch back. It's like an
overstretched rubber band that just stays stretched out without springing back.
The most serious
symptom of the disorder is the predisposition to aneurysms. At Jason's
death, his aorta (where the main aneurysm was located) was twice the size of an
adult. At age 12, Jason was 6 foot tall and weighed 110 pounds. His
heart had many anomalies in it and he was actually a candidate for an entirely
new heart. Jason's aorta exploded in his chest. He died at home in
his own bed. It was a very difficult thing to endure because you never
expect to outlive your children. He died on Father's Day, June 19,
1988. A day we always remember.
pediatrician contacted Hospice, we knew the doctor only expected Jason to live 6
months or less. I think it was Hospice that suggested that Make-A-Wish
Foundation would be able to grant a wish for Jason.
At first he
wanted to go see a Harlem Globetrotters game and sit right in the front
row. However, he was really too weak to do that. That was his first
wish. Another wish was for him to be able to meet Pee Wee Herman because
Jason thought his show was funny. Make-A-Wish sent us a Pee Wee
Herman doll that has a pull string. He used to clearly talk but now when
you pull the cord, it sounds a little weird.
Jason next wish
was to meet Balki. I really think this was the very best wish that was
granted. Jason and I giggled about it and felt very impressed and
awestruck when the phone ring and "Balki" was talking. I will
forever remember Jason's smile at that moment.
called, I was able to listen on the telephone extension. My son was 12 at
the time. As I remember the call, one question Jason asked was if Bronson
had any pets. He said he had a canary. I forget the canary's
name. [Editor's note: it was probably Gabriel.] Anyway,
Bronson went on to explain how he liked the bird. Jason thought that was
They talked for
several minutes. If I remember correctly, they probably talked for at
least 30 minutes. Bronson talked using his regular voice but in a segment
of the interview he talked like Balki for a few phrases.
Bronson was very
kind taking time to talk with Jason. "Cousin Larry" would have
also called and talked with Jason but he was unavailable.
I felt so
impressed that Make-A-Wish Foundation and Bronson was able to grant this wish
for Jason. It meant the world to me and Jason.
production company from Perfect Strangers also sent Jason several photos,
a press kit, a t-shirt,
two original scripts and an autographed photo of Bronson and Mark! The
cast and crew of the show
were always very good about helping out with charitable causes where and when
thanks to Susan for letting us share the story about her son with everyone!
here for more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation
more about Marfan Syndome at Wikipedia