Raleigh, NC – A brave boy battling spindle cell melanoma goes on the wish of his life to Legoland, courtesy of Kids Wish Network.
Thousands of Lego bricks stretched out in front of him, moving on belts, being sorted into bins and being stamped and painted. The scene was like something out of an amazing dream, and yet he knew that this was his reality: he was finally visiting Legoland.
Nine year old Evan has a condition called congenital melanocytic nevus, which results in a birthmark covering over 35% of his body. Just last year, some of this was found to be cancerous with spindle cell melanoma. This rare form of melanoma is locally aggressive and tends to have a high recurrence rate even with treatment. Evan has spent much of his young life in and out of hospitals and has undergone three surgeries for mass removal and skin grafts. He is now scheduled for yet another surgery. Though he has yet to endure chemotherapy, he is awaiting his doctor’s decision to start in order to shrink the tumor.
An aunt, who is also battling melanoma, was contacted by a Kids Wish Network professional fundraiser and was asked if she knew of any child who would benefit by having their wish granted; she immediately told the caller about her amazingly bright nephew and Evan’s journey to Legoland began. With the help of Wish Funding Specialist, Megan, and some super sponsors, Evan’s Wish Coordinator, Vanessa, organized Evan’s dream trip, complete with Legoland tickets, a visit to SeaWorld and reservations at the wonderful La Costa Resort and Spa.
According to Evan’s father, Paul, visiting Legoland was “truly a wish come true” for his son. “He’s wanted to do this for years,” said Paul. “He was in seventh heaven!” The itinerary that Vanessa had planned out for Evan and his family was so detailed and jam-packed full of great activities that Evan was inspired; he created his own in-park itinerary complete with a 38 point agenda of things to see and ride!
As a bonus, the little Lego fanatic was given a behind-the-scenes tour! “That was the highlight of a highlight trip,” said Evan’s father. According to Evan, the special tour was “amazing!” While on the tour, he had the chance to see how Legos are made and even got to make his very own Legos! The souvenirs he received from his backstage tour also sent him into a collector’s frenzy of joy; these same collectable Star Wars bricks are now his absolute favorites and he will continue to collect them indefinitely. To put it simply, Evan was hooked. “I want to work there,” he says bluntly.
Through the efforts of Kids Wish Network and some very special sponsors, Evan’s dream finally came true. Working with Wish Coordinator, Vanessa, to organize the trip was so easy it seemed as if everything happened effortlessly, according to Evan’s father. Evan and his family felt that they have been “blessed” because of the wish, something that Kids Wish Network was more than pleased to grant to such a brave and brilliant little boy.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Evan’s wish extra special: Wal-Mart, Wake County FOP #41, Legoland, La Costa Resort and Spa, Primo Pizza and Pasta, SeaWorld, Chili’s, Hertz Rent-A-Car and Ruby’s Diner.
Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children. If you know a child between the ages of 3 and 18 who may be in need of its wish granting services, please call 727-937-3600 or toll free 888-918-9004. For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit their website at www.kidswishnetwork.org