7 year-old Connor loves science, taking pictures, playing on his Wii, and being in the water. On November 9, 2011, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, which took a toll on him. Most kids respond really well and relatively quickly to treatments for this cancer, but Connor did not. The treatments had left him physically weakened, and he spent more time in the hospital than at home.
When his family learned that Connor qualified for a wish experience through Make-A-Wish® Utah, he was so weak that he could not even walk to the mailbox. The state of his condition prevented Connor from being able to come to A Wishing Place to meet his wish granters and declare his wish. Instead, Connor was visited in his home by his wish granters. Through talking with his family and his wish granters, Connor remembered a few years back when he and his family lived in a home that had a hot tub. He loved spending time in the hot tub, wanting to relax in the warm water and feeling it swirl around him. These fond memories helped Connor realize his wish: to have a hot tub.
In March of 2013, Connor’s wish was granted, and through the help of many people, including students from Springville High School, a hot tub with changing lights and waterfalls was installed at his home.
The hot tub, which Connor describes as “the best thing ever,” has lifted his spirits, toned his muscles and helped improve his emotional and physical status.
“He uses it more like a swimming pool than a hot tub,” said his mom, Tammy, “He’s just a fish in water.”
Connor uses the hot tub so much in fact, that the family was told that they had to buy extra cleaning chemicals for it due to “excessive use.”
Connor loves being in the hot tub even in the winter.
“He’ll hop out of the hot tub even with snow on the ground and go get on the swings for a few minutes, while the neighbor kids are all bundled up in their coats,” recalls Tammy.
Once Connor was feeling better, he was finally able to go to the Wishing Place in Murray, with his family and have the full wish experience. His mother described the entire experience as magical, and Connor particularly loved the wishing room with all of the vibrant colors and music.
Connor’s experience with Make-A-Wish Utah has not only helped him get through his treatments, but it has also brought the family closer together.
“We go out there every day,” said Tammy.
Connor still has two more years of treatment, but the worst is behind him. Now he is very active, his hair has regrown (though he preferred to be bald, since you don’t need to wash or gel your hair when you’re bald!), and he couldn’t be happier. The family is most appreciative of everything because, as stated by Tammy, “It gives him something bright to look forward to and it really, really, makes a difference.”