Zac, 4, brain cancer
I wish to go see snow
Four-year-old Zac was diagnosed with brain cancer in December 2014. While most kids were spending their days preparing for Christmas, he underwent surgeries to remove two tumors from his brain. Zac spent Christmas in the hospital and received further chemotherapy, radiation treatments and surgery over the next two years.
Spending so much time in hospitals was especially difficult for Zac, who loves going outside. His grandmother, called “Honey” by Zac, said that the hardest part of the treatments was “watching him struggle through chemo and seeing him sit at the window, wanting and aching to go outside.”
Zac especially loves going outdoors in winter, so when Make-A-Wish® asked him what his one true wish was, Zac wished to see snow. His wish came true in January 2017.
On Jan. 9, Zac and his family packed into their car and traveled to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. After settling into their cabin at Gatlinburg Falls, they started their week of fun-filled adventures in the city.
The family went to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where Zac had the honor of becoming a Junior Park Ranger. They also went to The Island in Pigeon Forge, where they were able to see a light and water show. Honey said that Zac “watched in amazement” as the lights, the water and the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel moved in sync.
The main attraction of the trip came when Zac and his family went to the Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Area. While there, Zac was able to build his first snowman, make snow angels and ride a tram for the first time. The Ski Patrol also taught him how to ski and how to have snowball fights. Zac and his family went snow tubing and took a walk by a snow-covered river. They also enjoyed going to the falls, which Honey said had “beautiful ice crystals.”
Zac will carry the memories of this trip with him for the rest of his life. Instead of focusing on clinical trials and cancer treatments, he will now be able to remember all of the joy from when his snowy wish came true.
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