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Gooding, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Make a Wish, on average, grants a wish every thirty-eight seconds to a child with a life threatening medical condition.
All this month, every Thursday, we've been sharing the stories of people in our community who have benefited from the Idaho Make a Wish Foundation.
Tonight we head to Gooding in this final edition of The Season of Wishes.
"He was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in February of 2012," says Sherri Basterrechea, about her son Nikolas.
"He was diagnosed when he was almost three. The tumor had grown to a point where it was actually blocking off his stomach and his intestines. He wasn't eating and he had some constipation issues. And, that's what we were dealing with for about six months, explains Randy Basterrechea, Nikolas’ father.
"We had gone to his nurse practitioner about four times trying to figure out what was going on. In January of 2012, he started having a low grade fever, which we thought well it's just a cold and then we noticed he was losing some weight and feeling really lethargic. So, we were kind of really frustrated with not getting some answers. So, we decided to take Nik to the hospital and we found that Nik had a tumor that was encasing his kidney and attached to his lower abdomen,” Sherri says.
Nik was life-flighted that day to Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
"The next day, they went in and took his kidney and they found that the tumor had started in the adrenal gland and it was neuroblastoma," Sherri explains.
The tumor was stage three and had grown to the size of a cantaloupe.
"So he went through six rounds of chemo, high dose chemo, radiation and then a stem cell transplant. And, after the stem cell transplant, he went through anti-body therapy," Randy says.
Treatment lasted 14 months... And consisted of a lot of driving to and from Salt Lake City... Sometimes two or three times a month.
"We had been through cancer before with myself after they were born, so we were kind of thinking we were done with it, but when it's your child it's almost unbearable. But, we were fortunate. We had really good support at Primary Children's. That hospital is so amazing. They take care of the parents, the child, and they make sure as a family that you're coping and you're able to function. We're really grateful for our doctors because they approached us probably the first month after we had had surgeries and said you know you guys should think about doing Make a Wish," Sherri recalls.
After some thought... Sherri and Randy filled out an application.
And, Nikolas knew exactly what he wanted to do.
"Where did you want to go for your Make a Wish?" Randy asks his son.
"At Disneyland,” Nikolas answers.
"Who did you want to see?” Sherri asks.
Nikolas responds with, "Mater and McQueen."
“Nik got to actually walk the parade with Lightning McQueen and usher in the first race of the day," Sherri says.
“There's a lot of good resources for people who are going through cancer and for kids who are going through cancer, but the nice thing about Make a Wish is it's for the whole family because it affects the entire family. And, Make a Wish is one of those things that can help the entire family," Randy explains.
“Thank you, Make a Wish!” Nikolas adds.
Make a Wish Idaho has granted over 11-hundred wishes...
Each one a life-affirming testament to hope, inspiration and resilience.