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Buhl, 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'll be sharing the stories of people in our community who have benefited from the Idaho Make a Wish Foundation.
Tonight, we head to Buhl in this edition of the Season of Wishes.
"Wesley was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in January of 2011. So he's been undergoing chemotherapy for that. He's currently in the maintenance phase, which means he goes to Boise every four weeks for chemo still. He will be finished finally in April of this coming year. The way that he ended up being diagnosed is he was having really bad back pain," explains Samantha Kliegl, Wesley’s mom.
"It hurt bad," Wesley adds.
"For a few weeks it went on so we ended up taking him to a chiropractor here in Buhl and having him looked at. The chiropractor told us that he didn't think there was anything really wrong that he could fix. He finally recommended that we go in and have blood work done. And, he actually said that it could potentially be symptoms of Leukemia. So, we had blood work done at a doctor in Twin and we found out that night that it was a kind of leukemia, they didn't know what kind,” Samantha says.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a blood cancer.
The leukemia cells crowd out the normal cells in the bone marrow.
"I couldn't go hunting with my dad or four-wheeling. Or, I couldn't go out in the public to eat, so I had to stay here and lay on the couch for three months and not do anything," Wesley explains.
"Yeah, he was practically quarantined for the first month or two. We didn't want people here to bring germs and he couldn't go anywhere," Samantha points out.
About a year and a half into treatment, Wesley began his journey with the Make a Wish Foundation.
"When they kept asking what to do, there was only one thing, go swim with dolphins. And, he was like are you positive, 100%? You don't want to meet some fancy singer, or motorbike rider? And, I was like nope swim with dolphins," Wesley says.
So, in May of 2013, Wesley and his family flew to Orlando, Florida... And, at Discovery Cove, Wesley’s wish came true.
"It was a lot of fun. They make it really special. It was a week we got to be a whole family; you know their big brother went with us too. No worries, no doctor's appointments," Samantha explains.
"We ate ice cream for dinner. It was like a week of relief. I didn't think about having cancer or this affecting my life I just like did it. I never even thought one time about cancer," Wesley says.
It was a moment in time they won't soon forget.
Make a Wish Idaho has granted over 11-hundred wishes...
Each one a life-affirming testament to hope, inspiration and resilience.
Next week... We take you to Gooding to tell you about another special Make a Wish recipient.