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7's HERO: Boise non-profit gifts 72-year-old terminal cancer patient a glamorous photoshoot

In order to give her husband something special to treasure after her death, Carolyn Burbank asked the Boise non-profit Wish Granters for a professional photoshoot.

BOISE, Idaho — Wish Granters Inc., a Boise non-profit that grants wishes for terminally ill adults, gifted a 72-year-old terminal cancer patient a professional photoshoot with hair, makeup, and clothes selected just for her. 

Carolyn Burbank of Boise was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given two years or less to live.

"It's extremely aggressive, it's stage four," she said.  

Burbank has been married for more than 40 years to her husband, Barry. She wanted to leave him something special after she passed away, so she asked Wish Granters for a photoshoot.

"I wanted something for him to remember me by," she said. "This is my gift to him. I love him so much. He is my heart, he is my life, he is my soul." 

Once Burbank's wish reached the non-profit, Dena McLachlin of Wish Granters was determined to make it happen.

"I just started contacting all these businesses and we had 14 businesses participate," McLachlin said. "It just became a beautiful wish, a two-day event."

Have you heard of Wish Granters Inc.? It's an incredible local nonprofit that grants wishes to adults in their final...

Posted by Maggie O'Mara on Sunday, May 16, 2021

The photoshoot exceeded all of Burbank's expectations: she was pampered with a manicure, new wigs, professional makeup, and beautiful clothes chosen just for her at Chico's.  

"The gal who helped me at Chico's came and dressed me. They had jewelry and everything," Burbank said. "Dena had a spread like you can't believe: we had appetizers, we had cookies, we had cake, we had mimosas like crazy. We had the best time." 

Burbank said the team did a fantastic job on her makeup and hair and went above and beyond to make the day perfect. The couple was even able to take some photos together at the Boise Depot.  

The best part of Carolyn's wish was seeing the light in her husband's eyes. She says she could not be more thankful to Wish Granters. 

"We are all so grateful for them," Burbank said. "Wish Granters is the best organization, I just can't say enough good about them."

Wish Granters started granting wishes in 2010 and has since been able to grant more than 350 wishes to terminally ill adults in Idaho. 

The nonprofit is now in need of sponsors, volunteers and donations. To make a donation and get information about volunteer opportunities, visit the Wish Granters website. 

Here is a list of all the wonderful volunteers and local businesses that pitched in to make this wish happen:


The Treasure Valley YMCA

My Wicked Whisk- Lori Renn

208 Cakes- Dena McLauchlin

The Assistance League, Wig Program, Louise Auchmpach

Les Bois Limousine, Chris & Katie Abel

Chico's Meridian

Treats by Tay

Gimme Some Sugar, Natasha Meatte

Jason McAdam Photography 

Idaho Stylist Kayla Brim & Kit Cobb

Ryanne Kenzie Photography

The Lock Stock & Barrel, Jim Kopes

Watch more '7's Hero'

See all of the heartwarming segments in our YouTube playlist here: