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Thursday, July 9, 2009

His Life's Wish Fulfilled: Seriously Ill Boy Rides F-Line Trolley

Posted By on Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 8:30 AM

A legitimately heartwarming story in today's San Jose Mercury News recounted the rather easily fulfilled wish of one Henry Mulvey, 11, who had pined for a chance to ride the F-line trolley for all of his days. On Tuesday, the Massachusetts boy finally did so.

All but the most naive readers were immediately tipped off that a news story about a boy coming across the nation to fulfill the rather esoteric wish of riding in a local trolley would have to mention, at some point, what horrific, life-threatening disease he was suffering from. The Merc waited until paragraph six.

Unfortunately, the article doesn't name Mulvey's ailment but simply notes he has a "neuromuscular mitochondrial disease" (in fact, if you feed that phrase into Google, this article comes up fifth). So you'll have to take the writer's word for it that the wheelchair-bound Mulvey's condition "may shorten his lifespan." Make your own conclusions about why the Make-a-Wish foundation granted a young child -- who travels with a full-time nurse -- his life's desire.

In any event, it's a sweet story that feels reminiscent of an earlier era -- much like the vintage trolleys Mulvey rode here in the Bay Area. Good for the young lad for having the straightforward, socially responsible driving ambition to ride public transportation, and wish everyone else would, too.

Finally, if this couldn't coax Gavin Newsom onto public transportation, nothing could.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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