For 6-year-old Kathryn trains are more than just a mode of transportation. They are full of excitement and adventures. From reading about them to visiting them in person, Kathryn enjoys every single thing about trains. This is why she makes sure to visit Rusty the Steam Engine every time she goes to Bismarck for her doctor’s appointments.
Although Kathryn frequently visits the doctor’s office, her next stop was not to the hospital for treatment but to Rapid City, South Dakota, for the ride of a lifetime!
Kathryn was diagnosed with leukemia three years ago. Since then, her family takes things day by day. In
many of those days, one treat in particular brought Kathryn comfort – an Arby’s roast beef sandwich. With frequent visits for her treat, Kathryn grew close to the employees of her local Arby’s. Knowing they played an important role in her treatment process, her wish granting volunteers planned a sendoff party where Kathryn got to give back to the people she loved. She put on her Arby’s polo and visor, went behind the counter and served roast beef sandwiches with a beautiful smile.
After treating the people she loved, it was time for Kathryn to have her day. Upon arriving in South Dakota, Kathryn and her family visited Mount Rushmore National Park and Crazy Horse Memorial. While visiting these sites she dropped a coin in a fountain, looked at her mom and said, “Mom, tomorrow my wish is going to come true!”
That next day Kathryn made it to Hill City to ride the famous 1880 Train at Black Hills Central Railroad. While on the ride of her life, Kathryn was immersed in the beauty of the Black Hills. After returning to the station, she was able to meet the conductor and received a tour of the engine. Before heading home from her adventure, Kathryn also visited Flinstones Bedrock City, Bear Country USA and even took flight in a helicopter to enjoy an aerial view of the Black Hills.
Thomas the Tank Engine once said, “little engines can do big things.” Kathryn followed in his tracks, and did the biggest thing possible. She experienced her greatest wish coming true. “We all had such a wonderful time. I can’t believe what Make-A-Wish did for our whole family,” said Kathryn’s mom, Melissa.
Many people made it possible for Kathryn’s wish to be granted, especially Dickinson Noon Lions Club
, a partner of our Adopt-A-Wish® program