Jeffrey’s wish came after he had gone through all of his treatments and it seemed like it was maybe a reward for beating cancer.
Having to stop doing things you love is hard, but when you add a cancer diagnosis as the reason, it’s even harder. Jeffrey was a 10-year-old boy who loved playing football and spending time with his friends when he was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a type of bone cancer that affects mainly children and adolescents. His diagnosis put a stop to him playing football and while he was going through treatment, it also took him away from school and his friends.
Jeffrey had to have his leg amputated below the knee and undergo chemotherapy to treat the cancer. Treatment was successful, he went into remission and he got to come home to Williston after months of treatment in Minneapolis. He was happy to be home and get back to life as a kid.
While he was in treatment, he was referred to Make-A-Wish by a social worker. Volunteer wish granters worked with Jeffrey to determine his one true wish. He wished to go on a Disney Cruise Line® cruise to the Bahamas. His wish was granted and he and his family set off on an adventure they won’t soon forget.
Jeffrey’s wish came after he had gone through all of his treatments and it seemed like it was maybe a reward for beating cancer. However, just before he left for his wish, doctors found a spot the size of a pencil point in his lung. The family pushed the “what-if” thoughts out of their minds and spent the wish experience not worrying about anything medical or treatment related.
Jeffrey and his family travelled from Williston to Port Canaveral, Florida where they boarded the Disney Dream ship for a five day cruise to the Bahamas. Aboard the ship, the family was treated to amazing food, fun shows and entertainment, waterslides, pools, character meet and greets and so much more.
While on his wish, Jeffrey and his family were able to experience a dolphin encounter and bottom-fishing for exotic fish native to that region. These two excursions proved to be Jeffrey’s favorite activities of the whole trip although he had so much fun that picking his favorite thing wasn’t easy. Another favorite thing was having his family all together.
Once they were home and Jeffrey went in to see his doctor again, the spot had grown to the size of a pea. It became clear that Jeffrey was going to have to fight once again. He had to undergo another surgery to have part of his lung removed in addition to more chemotherapy, a stem cell harvest and transplant and radiation. He’s still doctoring but things are looking positive today. He has another surgery ahead of him when he’s healthy enough to have it. Doctors will do some additional work to the bones in his amputated leg.
When the family reflects on their experience, Jeffrey’s mom, Jennifer says, “It was the trip of a lifetime. We spent time relaxing as a family, not worrying about anything, and making life long memories.” Jeffrey’s wish came at a time when maybe they needed it most. Jennifer adds, “Everyone who was a part of the whole wish experience was amazing and the trip was so magical. Everyone on the ship made us feel like we were part of their family.”
Cancer was the furthest thing from their minds.
For Jeffrey, that was priceless.
Today, football may still be on hold, however, Jeffrey is happy to be back doing some of the things he loves like spending time with his family and friends, going to school, playing video games and fishing.