Meet Max, our featured Wish Ambassador of October 2019.
Max is an always positive, entertaining to be around, 7-year-old boy, who loves to laugh, learn and spend time with his family. Max gravitates toward anything LEGO® and is especially interested in animals.
He is also battling a critical illness.
"We found out he had a brain tumor. That was pretty tough," said Max's dad, Sam. "But, he's since had the surgery to remove it. It went great, and we've had the best results all the way through."
"We're at an intersection where we don't know, things are sort of up in the air," said Max's mom, Linh.
A bright spot during this time was learning that Max qualified for a wish through Make-A-Wish® Oregon.
"During his treatment, Max became really close friends with a boy his age, named Aki. The two connected over their love of penguins and animals. So, when Max thought about his wish, penguins was one of the first things that came to his mind," said Sam.
Before long, Max was on a plane bound for San Diego, to fulfill his biggest wish: To interact with penguins at SeaWorld.
"It was a macaroni, and we got to touch it," said Max. "It felt furry."
"Max was really excited, he felt really special," said Linh. "He called himself Mr. Make-A-Wish kid the whole time, and was super proud to be on this journey."
Max and his family also ventured to the San Diego Zoo and LEGOLAND®.
"It was fun," said Max. "I got to feed a giraffe and a giraffe's closest relative, and I got to see a panda!"
"He loved LEGOLAND so much," said Sam. "Max and his brother, Dash, were running around getting pictures in front of all the Ninjago guys, in front of all the Star Wars exhibits, and we went into where the Master Builders are, which was really cool."
"Make-A-Wish is there for families in this situation and it's such a fantastic experience." he added.
This quality time together in San Diego, left a lasting impact on Max's family.
"Everybody was super happy, but the experience itself gives you a boost of energy again, to carry you through to the next stage regardless of what happens. It was special for Max."
Max is now a Make-A-Wish Oregon Wish Ambassador who wants to Wish It Forward by sharing his story. To support local kids, like Max, who are waiting for their wish to come true CLICK HERE.