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Ina Garten denies Make a Wish request....

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Celeb Chef -- Too Busy for 'Make-A-Wish' Kid

3/25/2011 12:35 AM PDT by TMZ Staff  


The Make-a-Wish Foundation had to break some bad news to a 6-year-old cancer patient this week ... when Food Network star Ina Garten informed them she was too busy to cook a meal with the boy ... TMZ has learned.

Ina Garten Enzo

A family member involved with the Make-A-Wish foundation tells us ... a little boy named Enzo was approached by the organization after he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia three years ago.

Enzo told Make-A-Wish ... he really wanted to cook with the "Barefoot Contessa" host because he would often watch the show with his mother while resting in bed.

M.A.W. approached Garten with the wish last year ... but at the time, she was unable to meet with Enzo due to a book tour.  The organization urged Enzo to pick another wish, but he told them he wanted to wait until she becomes available.

We're told the organization went back to Ina this year ... but her team responded with a "definite no" ... once again, citing scheduling conflicts. 

A member of Enzo's family says the 6-year-old is heartbroken ... and asked parents, "Why doesn't she want to meet me?"

When we called Make-A-Wish for comment on this story, they told us, "From time to time, planning for wishes doesn't turn out as originally envisioned, despite people's best intentions and efforts throughout the wish-granting process."

They noted that Ina is a "good friend" of the foundation.

A rep for Garten tells us, "Despite her demanding schedule, [Ina] participates and helps as many organizations as she can throughout the year, helping children and adults like Enzo with life threatening and compromising illnesses.

The rep continues, "Unfortunately, as much as she would like to, it's absolutely impossible for her to grant every request she receives."

We're told Enzo has now made a new wish -- he wants to swim with dolphins ... and he's already taking lessons to make his dream come true.



by on Mar. 25, 2011 at 11:21 PM
Replies (41-44):
by on Mar. 29, 2011 at 1:01 AM

The woman does not have kids.  Every show I've seen it's all old people and old gay guys.  Clearly she's not a kid person, and most certainly would feel ill at ease with one dieing.   She could have chosen a more honest excuse, but all the same, she gave a reasonable brush off excuse that should have been good enough to get the family to look at other options.

I've met plenty of people who are ill at ease with a perfectly healthy child, so I can imagine a sick dieing child would be an incredible stressor for them.  Ms Garten had her reasons I'm not going to begrudge her them.  She has been a decent celebrity and an obvious good addition to her community.

There are people who contribute with money, there are people who contribute with time.  Both are integral and invaluable.  Ina Garten it seems gives with the former.  There is no need to bash her because she gives money in lieu of time.  

by on Mar. 29, 2011 at 9:50 AM

That's messed up.

I totally get being too busy to do everything that is asked of you, but when a dying CHILD wants to meet you it should be something you can work in.

by on Mar. 29, 2011 at 9:54 AM

what a bitch

by on Mar. 29, 2011 at 9:54 AM

I saw cake boss and he granted 4 kids wishes by making a cake with them. This woman doesn't have time to cook for one child? That's messed up.

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