Growing Pains Actor and Former Wish Kid Share How One Wish Changed Their Lives Forever
In their new book, When I Wished Upon A Star, Brandon Lane Phillips and Growing Pains star Jeremy Miller share how Phillips' wish to meet the child actor would change their lives forever. Phillips longed for the seemingly idyllic life Miller's character enjoyed. But as he would later learn, things are seldom as they appear. Each chapter of this book, which includes an introduction from Kirk Cameron, reveals the real-life story of two complicated lives. The book releases from Thomas Nelson on May 21, 2019.
"Throughout my childhood, I spent time in and out of the hospital, visiting with my doctors and having multiple procedures and surgeries. I had my first open-heart surgery just after my second birthday," Phillips, who has Tetralogy of Fallot, a combination of four heart defects, said. "By the time I was 11 years old, my world seemed to be upside down. My parents had divorced, and I was struggling with what it meant to have a chronic illness. I was losing faith and kept asking God to show me that He loved me."
A wish granted by Starlight Children's Foundation helped provide the reassurance Phillips needed. As an avid fan of Growing Pains, Phillips wanted to spend the day with his favorite Seaver, portrayed by Miller. For Phillips, it was a chance to experience and see the perfect TV family up close. The experience and conversations he had that day provided the encouragement needed to lead Phillips to relentlessly pursue his childhood dream of becoming a pediatric cardiologist. Leaving the set that evening, Phillips knew that God had heard his cry. What Brandon did not know that day visiting the set was that Jeremy also longed for a real-life version of his TV family.
"As the oldest child of a single mother, I felt a lot of responsibility to be the man of the house and take care of my family, " Miller said. "Over the years, as the family dysfunction worsened, I turned to alcohol at a very young age, and it led me down a dangerous path that nearly cost me everything."
As Phillips faced obstacles throughout his life, events would unfold in a seemingly perfect way to remind Phillips of his wish and how God had answered his childhood prayer. More than a decade after his wish, just as Phillips was on the verge of seeing his dream come to fruition and Miller was nearing one of his lowest points, their paths in life would intersect again. This reunion would mark the beginning of a life-long friendship.
"Over time, I noticed Jeremy really struggling," said Phillips. "It was my opportunity to be there for him as he had done for me back on that sound stage many years ago."
When I Wished Upon A Star shares the ups and downs both men faced and how God interwove their lives together when they needed friendship the most. It is an inspiring story of how life can come full circle and God can use one life to change another.