At the age of 11, John has faced much in his short life. Battling stage IV chronic kidney disease, John had a kidney transplant December 4. His mom, Kim, was the match. Miraculously, he was back in school at Lincoln Elementary just five weeks later.
“He is an amazing kid. He’s our little super hero,” Kim said.
April 12 was a special day for John as his wish for a Star Wars LEGO Room came true. When John and family arrived home shortly after 2:00 PM, his front yard was full of more than 60 friendly faces –including classmates, teachers, family, friends, local Make-A-Wish® volunteers and staff and Star Wars characters, including Storm Troopers and Darth Vader.
While John was out, the volunteers transformed an empty third floor room into a magical Star Wars LEGO Room, complete with a custom-made table to build LEGOs on, shelving with bright-colored LEGO doors, set upon set of Star Wars LEGOs and even a life-size LEGO character costume that he can wear.
John’s smile said it all. First, when he arrived at home to classmates and friends chanting “John, John, John and Happy Wish Day” to his first glance of his new room – a place where he can be a kid, play, build and relax.
“He was kind of speechless, to say the least…kind of overwhelmed, just like the rest of us,” his Dad Daro said.
His guests enjoyed sub sandwiches, cupcakes and other treats and each walked up the stairs to see his LEGO Room. They also had a chance for pictures with the Star Wars characters. As the party winded down, John was back upstairs discovering all of his new LEGOs and smiling from ear to ear.
A heartfelt wish came true: John’s wish. A wish to take his mind off of all that he has faced. A wish to give him and his family hope, strength and joy. A wish to celebrate how far he has come.
“This is an amazing thing,” Kim said. “I can’t imagine anything better!”
John’s wish was made possible by Adopt-A-Wish® Partner Blair, Valerie, Landry and Grady Folkens. Special thanks also to Brack Lee of Denver for creating the LEGO character costume, Duane Bickett of Sioux Falls for building the LEGO desk, Nicole Johnson and OnTrac FSD, Brown Transfer, Reed Yeager of Denver, Rob Keisacker of Sioux Falls for helping with the shelves and members of the 501st Legion for making an appearance at John’s wish.