A 3-year-old boy’s simple, touching wish recently became a reality.
Kellan Tilton, of Detroit, Maine, was born with a cancerous tumor on his spine, and began chemotherapy the day after it was discovered by his doctors. Six months later, the tumor was removed and Kellan was declared cancer-free.
The trouble didn’t end there. The tumor in Kellan’s spine did so much damage it left him paralyzed from the waist down.
Three years later, Dan Tilton said his son is cancer-free and driving a wheelchair “better than anybody can drive a car now.” Despite his abilities, Tilton said his son’s wheelchair prevents him from doing something he’s always wanted to do — visit his dad in the backyard barn.
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“I have to carry him,” Tilton said.
When the Make-A-Wish Foundation approached the family about doing something special for the toddler, he knew just what he wanted.
“He could have taken a trip anywhere,” Make-A-Wish marketing director Sonya Purington said. “For him, what was most important was to be able to go outside and — as he said — 'wheel myself from my house down to the barn.'"
Kellan’s simple wish stunned Purington and her colleagues.
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“What I love about this (wish) is it gives him the mobility and some independence,” she said. “It's going to be a wish that lasts him for a long long time — a unique wish for someone who is wise beyond his years."
With help from seven companies and 10 workers, materials and labor were donated to make the young boy’s wish come true. The 200-foot path was completed in one week.
What Tilton said was most remarkable was the bond his son shared with the men who helped build his pathway.
“As a family watching this, every time the guys walked by each other, they gave each other high fives,” he said. “It gives me goosebumps talking about this; they were having the time of their lives."
“His wish was simple, humble, impactful,” Purington added. “I'm glad it will enable him to be with family and spend time with his best friend — his dad."