Tippecanoe High teen with rare syndrome receives wish of a lifetime

Living in a world of limited communication, 17-year-old Tippecanoe HIgh School Junior, Charlie Sparks, now knows the ultimate expression of freedom, thanks to a little help from his friends at the Make-A-Wish Foundation

Mindy Salmons is local volunteer wish giver with Make-A-Wish.

“He’s so well known in this area and everyone knows him and loves him. That was evident when we called around and asked for donations, everyone wanted to be part of it.”

Born with a rare disorder called Angelmans Syndrome, Charlie can expand his understanding of the world overnight

A language his mom, Eva Sparks, and functional skills teacher, Emma Coppes, continue to learn every day.

“He recently has been using a program called Proloquo2go.  I think that’s improved some things a bit. Seeing what he’s enjoying and things that he is interested in,” said Coppes.

“He is going through a lot of speech therapy. He has been very persistent over the years letting us know he has much more to say than the choices we give him,” said Sparks.

The syndrome causes Charlie to have seizures, a lack of speech and walking and balance disorders

“The diet is new when we started in last July. It was one of those last resorts. We tried the medication. We tried a DNS that helps with the seizures,” said Sparks.

In their household, it’s a sign, a hug, a smile and a kiss.

Charlie’s words are spoken through love.

Wednesday, after he was awarded the keys to this Polaris RZR UTV, all you needed was a look and a laugh.

Charlie is now buckled in, as his journey starts anew at sunset.

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