Matt About Town: This 14-year-old’s marine biology dream comes true with help from Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic

This 14-year-old's marine biology dream comes true with help from Make-A-Wish

Throughout the month of April, WTOP is highlighting our partnership with Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic and Operation Dream Maker, which raises money to fulfill the wishes of children diagnosed with critical illnesses, whose parents are our nation’s military heroes.

Last year, Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic granted 386 wishes in the D.C. area, and this year, with your help, the organization hopes to grant even more.

The nonprofit says around a third of the kids who get wishes in the D.C. area each year are those with parents or guardians who are serving or have served in the military.

In today’s episode of “Matt About Town,” WTOP’s Matt Kaufax met 14-year-old Emma, who loves all things related to marine life. She fulfilled her dream to swim with dolphins, courtesy of Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic.

Emma’s determination to live her life and thrive through her epilepsy, and her optimistic outlook for the future, are sure to inspire all those who watch her story.

As Matt found out, Emma is not lost for words when it comes to talking about her passions and has a special bond with her family, including her father Jon, who served in the Coast Guard.

Every year on April 29, World Wish Day celebrates the anniversary of the founding of Make-A-Wish. April is also both the Month of the Military Child and World Wish Month!

To find more stories like this one, meet Wish Kids of the D.C. area and learn how you can give back to the worthy cause of turning a child’s dream into reality, you can visit WTOP’s Make-A-Wish website.

“Matt About Town” airs every Tuesday and Thursday on WTOP at 7:45 a.m., and runs throughout the rest of the day on 103.5 FM. His video pieces are always posted on

You can also find Matt’s videos on Instagram (@wtopnews and @mkaufax) and TikTok (@wtopnews and @mattabouttown_).

If you’ve got an idea for a feature story Matt should cover, reach out via the WTOP “contact us” page to submit your idea.

You can also contact Matt directly. His contact information is listed below.

Check out more of “Matt About Town” on WTOP.

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Matt Kaufax

If there's an off-the-beaten-path type of attraction, person, or phenomenon in the DC area that you think more people should know about, Matt is your guy. As the features reporter for WTOP, he's always on the hunt for stories that provide a unique local flavor—a slice of life if you will.

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