The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants a wish every 40 seconds to children across the country with life-threatening illnesses.
Still, the wishes usually fall into one of four categories: I wish to be; I wish to meet; I wish to have; and I wish to go.
No so for 15-year-old Hunter Lyons-Stratchko. Instead, his wish was something to benefit others — a science lab for his friends at Rosedale Baptist School.
For those who know Hunter best, including his parents Steven and Diana Stratchko, the uniqueness of the wish didn't come as a surprise.
"I didn't think anything of it," said his mother. "Hunter has always been generous and has always given back to people."
He sits in the front row at his church and welcomes new members. He has always tried to help classmates in need. And he can put a smile on just about anyone's face, she adds.
"He's always thinking of other people," said Stratchko.
A dedication for the new science lab was held on April 20. It's equipped with everything a science class would need, including science tables, goggles, an eye wash station, microscopes, test tubes and more.
After years of illness, Hunter was recently diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, a condition the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation likens to experiencing a major power outage in cells that can eventually lead to multi-system failure. In Hunter's case, the disease is terminal.
Allyson Butler, vice president of marketing and communications for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic, said more and more the organization is getting wishes from kids like Hunter, who are helping to create an emerging fifth category of wish, "I wish to give back."
"It's such a wonderful, wonderful way to share the power of a wish," said Butler.
She compares his wish to throwing a pebble in a lake and seeing the ripple effect it creates.
"It often, especially in the case of Hunter, resonates with the entire community," she added. "Everybody, the pastor, the school, his classmates, all the different partners in the community, everybody is touched by that wish."
In fact, the wish came together through a community effort and several donations.
Scott Tewell, pastor of the Rosedale Baptist Church and president of the school, said the generosity of the gift was incredible.
"That came from Hunter's heart. He's that kind of young man," said Tewell. "His heart is to help others. He's unlike any young man I've ever met."
Rosedale Baptist School, located on Route 7, provides education for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The school is constructing a new education wing where the science lab will eventually be located. For now, the lab is set up in a temporary trailer, which gave Hunter a chance to see it. The addition will be completed in October.
"For a smaller private school like ours, it just means the world," added Tewell. "Without the science lab, you're just looking at visual aids and reading books. With it, you are hands-on learning, experimenting and understanding science."
Part of the reason Hunter chose a science lab, said Tewell, is so his classmates and other students at the school could study mitochondria in cells.
When deciding what to wish for, he told his mother he wanted the science lab because it would be permanent.