I've told you before about my six-year old nephew, Owen, who has neurofibromatosis. (see www.ctf.org for more information) While he was finishing up chemotherapy for a tumor on his optic nerve last year, his nurses suggested to my sister and her husband that they apply to the Make a Wish Foundation for Owen. No, they said - that's for children in life-threatening situations and Owen's case isn't like that. The nurses assured them it was for any child going through a major medical ordeal like Owen was. Still, my sister didn't want to impose, so they were surprised several weeks later when representatives from Make a Wish scheduled an interview for them and Owen. Turns out, Owen's nurses applied on his behalf. The Make a Wish people asked Owen if he could do anything in the world what would it be? His answer - ride a garbage truck! Owen's been obsessed with garbage trucks for quite some time now, but the Make a Wish folks encouraged him to think a little bigger. He told them he likes to fish on the boat with his dad and how they were supposed to ride a big airplane once, but couldn't. Make a Wish took that info and set them up to fly a big airplane to Florida, then get on a really big boat for a Disney cruise! Mom, Dad, Owen and little brother Reid loaded up enjoyed their cruise earlier this month. When they got home, Owen got another surpise - the City of Oshkosh sanitation department called and said they heard about a young man's wish. Turns out, my sister shared the story of Owen's wish at a bunko party, and one of the other women there happens to be married to the head of the department. One thing led to another - and the wheels were in motion for Owen to ride on the garbage truck to the dump. They weren't sure when it would be - the crews have been busy helping Oshkosh clean up from its flooding problems. On their way home from Owen's followup MRI Monday (he gets them every three months to make sure the tumor isn't growing again), they got a call that the ride would come Tuesday morning. They'd pick Owen up at home at 8 am. Of course, he was up by 4:30 and waiting at the curb by 6:30! "We'll be back for you, Owen!" the guys yelled as they came past on their route. I got a call at 9:30 am to tell me all about it. Owen rode to the dump and got to work the levers on the truck. He even talked to Bob and Scott on the radio and they gave him a toy trash truck. Quite a day! Surprising my sister even more - the sanitation workers took up a collection for Owen. They'll donate the money to the first-ever Connect for a Cure walk they're organizing for July in Green Bay to benefit the Children's Tumor Foundation. Quite a day!
Owen looking good in the garbage truck!
Owen and his new buddies.
Back home with little brother and the toy trash truck.