Make-A-Wish Foundation gifts new gaming laptops to Anchorage resident and younger sisters
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Kiyah Tuttle, a 20-year-old Anchorage resident, is obsessed with wilderness survival.
“I’ve seen probably every single survival show that exists,” Tuttle said.
For years, she has been studying the shows and understands what it takes to win them and how to survive.
That determination that competitors need to have came in handy in 2018, when at the age of 16, Tuttle was diagnosed with childhood leukemia.
“(I) just asked the doctors what’s next and did whatever they told me to do,” Tuttle said.
For two and a half years, Tuttle battled cancer and the painful effects of chemotherapy.
“I went from being extremely strong, and like a karate fighter, to being so weak I could barely lift my legs up,” Tuttle said.
To this day, Tuttle said she finds herself struggling with side effects that still linger from her chemotherapy, including problems with her memory, but throughout her fight against cancer, she always had one weapon besides her: the support of her family.
“My mom came and saw me every single day,” Tuttle said. “... My sisters came most days.”
For Tuttle, her family is everything.
“Honestly, I feel like my personality is my family,” Tuttle said. “My family is so important to me.”
In 2018, Tuttle was presented with an opportunity through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a wish she decided to share with her family. In 2021, her wish was granted. Tuttle received three new gaming laptops — one for herself and two for her younger sisters.
“I remember thinking about it and I was like, I don’t know if I am allowed to get computers for all of them, for my two sisters,” Tuttle said. “So when I asked, they were like, ‘Yeah, sure,’ and I was like, ‘Wow, that is awesome.’”
It answered another wish that Tuttle had — a way for her family and her to stay better connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We liked to video call on the computers, play games together. Also, my sister’s computers were like really terrible. Mine was okay, but my sisters’ were terrible,” Tuttle said. “They could barely ever play with my siblings. So, yeah, I really wanted us to be able to connect better.”
To Tuttle, the laptops also represented something more than just a gift — it was a symbol of hope.
“When you know that there is something good that is going to happen, it’s just really nice to have something to look forward to. And it can be very special and something to inspire people to keep fighting,” Tuttle said.
An important component, Tuttle said, is healing.
Tuttle still lives in Anchorage and is in remission. She is now busy working as a nanny to three children and is looking forward to pursuing a future in child care, or becoming a stay-at-home mom.
Those interested in helping to grant wishes for children in Alaska can donate airline miles to the Make-A-Wish foundation. They can also donate cash to help grant wishes.
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