Myles, a four-year-old boy from Minot, is just like most other kids his age - he loves super heroes, is busy, energetic and he loves hot dogs and fruit snacks. Shortly after his third birthday, Myles was complaining of pain in his legs. His mom thought maybe it was growing pains.
However, after he woke up one day and wasn’t able to walk, she knew it was much more than that.
A trip to the doctor led to Myles being hospitalized and having a battery of tests and bloodwork done. The initial diagnosis was a bone infection. A doctor shared his test results and imaging with Mayo and that’s when life for Myles’ family took a dramatic turn. Mayo wanted Myles airlifted there as soon as possible and this was the first time a doctor mentioned the “c” word. There was a chance they were dealing with cancer.
Once they were settled in at Mayo, a team of several doctors came in to see Myles. When the team left, one doctor stayed behind…an oncologist. The oncologist visited with Myles’ mom and showed her his scans. She shared that the bright spots on the scan, above his knees and between his shoulder blades, indicated either infection or cancer. However, to have an infection of this kind, he would be much sicker which led doctors to believe it was cancer.
A mass was found in his abdomen. The diagnosis was stage IV neuroblastoma. Monique, Myles’ mom, said that her mind just shut down and she broke down when she heard those words. She couldn’t believe that her little boy had cancer.
Immediately, a rigorous treatment plan was set up for Myles. He underwent several rounds of chemotherapy, surgery to remove the tumor, more chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant, radiation and immunotherapy.
Myles was no longer like other kids his age. He was dealing with a lot more in his young life than anyone should have to. During his treatment, he used his own superpowers and was brave and did phenomenally well through all his treatments and everything he endured. Monique says that they have amazing family and friends who were there supporting them every step of the way and that it was so important for them to stay positive for Myles. Myles was their very own super hero.
The hardest part of his treatment was during the high dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant after his tumor was removed. He was physically at his weakest and just didn’t have much fight left. This happened in December, so Myles had to spend the third Christmas of his life in the hospital. As hard as everyone tried to make the holidays as good as they could be given their situation, this Christmas was not one that Myles enjoyed. As his parents, Monique said that it hurt them to watch him go through all of this. He was just too sick to be happy and enjoy Christmas like a kid his age should.
In January, he was released from the hospital and the family hoped for renewed health and strength to get through the remaining steps of his treatment. He started radiation which involved daily sedation for about two weeks. This was hard on the entire family. Next, he moved onto immunotherapy where he was again in the hospital and undergoing treatments at home.
His treatment regimen wrapped up in August, but they were far from being done. Now it was time to focus on getting healthy - nutrition, gaining strength and weight.
About this time, Monique called Make-A-Wish® North Dakota to refer Myles for a wish. Once he was deemed medically eligible and volunteer wish granters were assigned, Myles started to get really excited about the idea of a wish.
When he was thinking about his wish, he thought right away about going to Walt Disney World® Resort. During his treatments and hospital stays he spent a lot of time watching movies and every time Cinderella’s castle came on during the opening of the movie, he said he wanted to go there. Meeting super heroes was high on his list, too.
His wish was a magical experience for the whole family. His mom thought the best time to travel would be in December so that his fourth Christmas would be much better than his third. The family went to Walt Disney World® Resort in December and got to see all the holiday decorations. It was the perfect gift for this family.
Myles’ wish helped him and his family create unforgettable memories. The family was able to forget what they had been through and be grateful for what they had and that they could be together as a family.
On his wish, Myles and his family stayed at Give Kids the World Village® and visited Magic Kingdom®, SeaWorld® and Universal Orlando® Resort. It was at Universal where Myles’ wish came true. He was able to meet the Marvel Super Heroes and have a private meet and greet with them. They made him feel very special. Myles was also able to meet Bumblebee – his very favorite Transformer. This moment is frozen in time in his mother’s mind. “He was ecstatic! He jumped up and down and clapped and really was speechless.” A high-five from Bumblebee was one of his favorite moments during his wish. For his parents, this made everything they’ve been through worth it. This one moment was pure joy and happiness for their little boy and that was something they hadn’t seen for a very long time.
After his wish, Myles’ mom said that she began to notice a change in him. He was happier and getting to be more like his old self before he got sick. He was more outgoing, his wellbeing and mindset were greatly improved and he was much more willing to comply with taking medicine and participating in treatments. For everything he had to endure in the prior year, Myles gained hope, strength and joy from his wish come true. And for his mom, dad and brother, the wish was a chance to spend time as a family and get relief from the stress they’ve all been under while Myles was sick.
Simply put, Myles’ wish was the best experience of their lives!