Real Wheels Award Winning Fun & Educational DVDs & Movies for Kids 2-8 by Dave Hood

Wish Stories

“Kid’s Wish Network”
John meets his hero, Dave Hood.


In November, 2006, through the auspices of Kid’s Wish Network, our son John Goedde was given the opportunity to meet the man he describes as “my hero,” Dave Hood. At the time, John was 12 years old. John suffers from seizure disorder and autism, together with significant developmental delays. Knowing that John and Dave share a love of trains, Kid’s Wish Network arranged for Dave to meet with John for a morning at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.
Dave spent over two hours with John, answering questions that we had helped John prepare in advance of the meeting, discussing Dave’s projects and John’s other interests. Together they toured the museum and talked trains. Dave autographed several items for John, and gave him dvd’s of the few Dave & Becky movies that John did not yet have. Dave even joined us for John’s favorite lunch, chicken fingers and French fries!
The highlight of the visit occurred when John began re-enacting some of Dave’s “There Goes A…” movies. We had warned Dave in advance that John has a special capacity for memorizing things, particularly movies. Dave likely didn’t understand what we had meant until John got rolling. It wasn’t long before Dave and John were laughing and enjoying reciting scenes together.
Our family greatly appreciated Dave’s patience and willingness to spend so much time with John, and his continued interest in John’s situation. Dave has allowed us to stay in touch with him since the visit, as we send him the occasional email and pictures to keep him updated on John. Dave is not just John’s hero, he is a hero to our entire family!
Tom, Cynthia, Phil and John Goedde

John 3





John 1

John 2


 


"Make A Wish"
Recently Made 5 Year Old Jack Beqaj of Toronto's Wish

To Meet Fireman DAVE Come True!

A note from Dave:

It was truly an honor and a privilege to have Jack choose me as his "Make A Wish!" hero. I can't think of anything that would be a bigger compliment. Jack and his family were flown to San Diego from his home in Toronto, Canada by the Make A Wish Foundation. He arrived at the local fire station in a huge limo and we became fast friends. To my surprise he knew all the sayings from my videos by heart. We even got to go on a real emergency call. We spent three great hours together exploring the fire trucks, squirting water and having fun. The day was topped off by a birthday celebration for Jack with pizza and cake at the fire house with the real firefighters. It is my hope that Jack makes a full recovery from his life threatening disease and has many more happy birthdays to come. A special thank you to Jack and his family for sharing his special day with me. I would also like to say a special thank you to all the firefighters at the Fallbrook California station for helping make this day possible.

Thanks again!

Dave Hood

I have included an article from the local paper for those interested below.

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Article reprinted with permission from The North County Times, San Diego, CA

Fireman Jack meets his hero

ERICA WARREN
Staff Writer


FALLBROOK ---- Ever had a hero?
Jack Beqaj, 6, told the Make-A-Wish foundation his hero was "Fireman Dave." The woman looked at Jack and said, 'You sure about that?' " said Jack's dad, Jim Beqaj, on Thursday. "So, she said, 'Why don't we wait until after your surgery and we'll ask again.' " Jack's wish remained the same after his brain surgery. Perhaps not famous to Make-A-Wish, but for Jack, who memorizes every scene and line from Bonsall resident Dave Hood's children's video "There Goes a Fire Truck," the choice was obvious.
Before Jack arrived to meet his hero, Hood talked to firefighters at the North County Fire Protection District headquarters about the hands-on activities planned for Jack. Hood said his video series, which focuses on a variety of vehicles, including fire trucks, sprung from having his own family and watching the entertainment created for children. "I was watching a lot of animated videos which were full of a lot of violence, and believe it or not, I decided to make these videos," said Hood of the business he launched in 1994. A former host of "PM Magazine" in San Diego, the longtime television man...is often approached in the middle of "nowhere" and people say "Aren't you Fireman Dave?' " But he's never been someone's "wish" before Thursday" Hood said. Make-A-Wish flew Jack, his parents, and his five siblings from Toronto for a weeklong trip that included Thursday's session with Hood.
"He showed up here the day of his birthday on Sunday," said San Diego Make-A-Wish coordinator Amy Wilson. "We sent them to SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo, the Aerospace Museum in Balboa Park. But I guess he just wants to meet Dave. His parents say he's obsessed with him." Sounds like a lot of fun for a little boy, and his parents said he needs it after they learned last Thanksgiving that Jack has a progressive neurological disease called Rasmussen's Encephalitis.
"He said, 'Mommy, my arm is shaking and I'm not doing it,' " said Jack's mom, Jennifer Beqaj, of the first seizure. "It's changed his whole life."
The disease strikes children under age 10, causing frequent and severe seizures, loss of motor skills and speech, paralysis on one side of the body, inflammation of the rain, dementia and mental deterioration. Surgery cuts off the part of the brain causing the seizures, but also permanently shuts off the functions performed by that area. Some brain signals can be rerouted, but precious functions such as sight are often lost. When a white stretch limousine pulled up to the curb in front of the Fallbrook fire station Thursday morning, Hood, decked out in a firefighting coat, reached in and helped Jack climb out. When Hood sat down with the boy, Jack's smile lifted the right side of his face, while the left side hung soft. The two walked between fire trucks and ambulances hand-in-hand, talking to each other like fast friends. Hood held onto Jack's working arm, his right, while his left arm lay limp. Jack struggled to keep up with his hero, his right leg mobile but his left leg encased in a brace. Jim Beqaj described Jack's normal demeanor as pensive, but said this week in San Diego showed the most promise in his motor skills and response. "It just goes to show you how much this means to him," Jim Beqaj said. Jack's parents and siblings took turns videotaping the encounter with Hood, which they expected Jack to talk about all the way to the hotel, on the plane back to Canada and for weeks to come. But during the visit, which included an unplanned run with Hood and a fire crew to an accident scene, Jack remained rather quiet. "It's like if you meet a star, a singer or an actress," said Jack's sister, Emma, 14. "You wouldn't know what to say." After returning to the station from the accident, Jack and some firefighters took a fire hose and sprayed Hood, who comically fled from the water stream to an open field next to the department. Next, Hood and Jack watched one of Hood's new videos. Jack's family, several firefighters ...all sat around a big-screen television to watch Hood's "There Goes a Bus." In the short video, Hood runs around showing how a bus works, the many kinds of buses available in San Diego County and in England, and how to wash a bus. Jack was transfixed on the TV, wearing a firefighter hat labeled "Dave's Crew: #1 Fireman Jack" and sitting beside Hood on the floor. The two chatted, exchanged high-fives and laughed. Before the video, Jim Beqaj said he appreciated the opportunity to cheer up his son because there won't always be good days. "It's the little things that he'll never get to do," he said. "He'll never get a driver's license. He'll never be able to drive the California coast. If he had a cottage, he'd have to have someone take care of him." Eventually, he would may be someone else's hero, perhaps his own.

For information:

Contact staff writer Erica Warren at (760) 728-5511 or ewarren@nctimes.com.
8/23/02

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"Make A Wish"

Recently Made 6 year Old Oliver of Chicago's

Wish To Meet
ENGINEER DAVE
Come True!

A note from Dave:


It is always an honor for me to be chosen as "A Make A Wish" celebrity guest. I can't think of anything more rewarding for someone who has dedicated ten years of their life to making these movies for kids. My purpose has always been to try to make the kids laugh while they learn. I really never considered the effect that they would have on sick children. We get letters and e-mails everyday from parents who have used the tapes for everything from baby sitters to therapy. It is heartbreaking to think of young children in pain. If my work can bring them even a few moments of happiness then all the work is worthwhile.
Oliver's train experience was as much fun for me as it was for him. We met Oliver in the big station in Chicago. As soon as I met him I said my famous line "I shouldn't have done that" and he smiled. He then became very shy as some kids do when they first met me in person. Once on the train we opened presents together and he seemed to enjoy it. What kid wouldn't? Warner Brothers graciously provided us with an entire "Real Wheels" collection to present to Oliver.

Oliver, his Dad, and I then got to ride with the engineer and drive the train. I kidded Oliver that we couldn't drive without a steering wheel and he smiled. He got to honk the horn and push the throttle forward as we left the station. Oliver did indeed get his wish of driving the train with engineer Dave.

Once back in the Make A Wish party car he settled in for the ride. I don't think he was feeling very good at this point because I didn't see a smile from this point on. As we approached the station where all his friends and the press had gathered I felt like we were in a scene from the movie "A Wonderful Life". All those caring people with signs and all the love for a sick little boy was simply overwhelming. It was an experience I'm sure that Oliver will never forget and one that will touch me deeply when ever I think of it. Thank you to Make a Wish and to the great people of the Chicago area for a really memorable day,

Thanks again!

Dave Hood

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Copyright 2008 Dave Hood Entertainment

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