Little William Clinton Meets Big Guy with Same Name
Nov. 19, 1993
SEATTLE (AP) _ William Clinton got his wish this week, and it had nothing to do with North American trade.
Ten-year-old William Johannes Clinton, who suffers from a life-threatening ailment, shook hands with William Jefferson Clinton as the president stepped off Air Force One on Thursday for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings.
The two spoke on the telephone last March, and the president promised to meet the boy, said Make-A-Wish Foundation spokeswoman Stephanie Smith, spokeswoman for the Make-A-Wish Foudation of Washington State, which made the arrangements.
''That was his wish, to meet the president,'' Smith said.
''It was neat that he (the president) actually remembered this child. He was just really nice and very compassionate.''
William Clinton of Seattle suffers from gastroschisis, also known as short bowels, Smith said. He carries a life-support system in a backpack in order to receive nutrients, according to the foundation.
The boy, accompanied by his 4-year-old sister Marianna and his mother, Allayn, chatted briefly with the president when he landed at Boeing Field.
The two Williams chatted briefly when the president departed Air Force One. The boy then walked across the tarmac with the president to one of The Boeing Co.'s hangars, where a crowd of 3,000 waited to greet the president.
After Clinton's 20-minute speech, little William got to climb aboard Air Force One for a tour.
''I think he liked the president's quarters,'' said Susan Houk, the foundation's wish coordinator, who accompanied the boy. ''It was like a small apartment. There was a bed with the presidential seal and I think he thought that was pretty cool.''
William dreams of being president one day, Houk said.
''He knows the president can do anything he wants and he likes that idea,'' Houk said.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Washington State is a non-profit organization that provides children suffering from life-threatening illness the chance to do something they've always dreamed of.