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Keaton-wish to be Santa

Keaton and elves Brittney & Caleb

“ Let's do this! ”


- Keaton, wish child

“Let’s do this!” were Keaton’s words as he prepared to deliver toys to kids at a local children’s hospital. Having been hospitalized himself many times since being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, nine-year-old wish child Keaton knew what it was like to be there during the holidays and was excited to bring other kids good cheer.

Keaton’s one true wish was to be Santa and deliver candy, milk and cookies and toys to kids in the hospital. His wish came true on National Believe Day, a partnership between Macy’s and Make-A-Wish.

Keaton and classIt all started with Keaton being surprised by a crowd waiting for him at Macy’s West Acres where he was told that his wish to be Santa was coming true! He received a custom Santa suit and luckily he brought along three elves to help out. His big brother, Cooper and friends, Gabe and Brenna were there to share in the surprise and wish experience.

Security flanked the dressing rooms as Keaton transformed into Santa and Cooper, Gabe and Brenna into his elves.  Classmates and a gathering of fans patiently waited to see the reveal.

Keaton and donut

Santa didn’t disappoint and with a hearty “Ho Ho Ho”, he had gifts for all of his classmates as they dropped their letters in the big red letterbox.

It was then time for Santa to head to the hospital. With his elves aboard the trolley and a police escort in tow, Keaton rode in style to Island Park near downtown Fargo where more fans were waiting as well as a SWAT vehicle and police K-9 units. Keaton, his family and elves were then treated to a horse drawn carriage ride down Broadway with several hundred fans and well-wishers lining the streets cheering him on. That’s Make-A-Wish at its best! Decorated store fronts, signs and banners, as well as mascots and a personalized donut let Keaton know there was a whole community excited about his wish.

At the hospital, Santa and his elves hand selected a gift for each child who was hospitalized as well as kids who were there for treatment, visits or procedures. Additional toys were left in waiting rooms and another area hospital for all to enjoy.

Keaton is described by those who know him as a really great kid. His mom, Kristen says “he’s always thinking of others. He has a good heart.” His dad, Jason said, “it’s pretty incredible how he’s thinking of everybody else and not himself.”

When asked about why he chose this wish, Keaton replied, “because I love helping people.” 

it’s pretty incredible how he’s thinking of everybody else and not himself. ”

— Jason, wish dad

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