Eleven-year-old Quade is many things. A lacrosse maniac, an avid snowboarder and a 5th grade student. When he was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer, it changed his life but didn’t change who he was. Although he soon had to miss sports games, school days and even chores, Quade stayed positive. When he was referred to Make-A-Wish® Colorado, it gave him something to hold onto during the dark days of his illness.
“Just talking about where he wanted to go on his wish pulled him out of many hard days in the hospital. It was a tool we used very often to help him stay positive throughout his long hospital stay, especially throughout the long summer months when his friends were out having fun,” his mom said.
Quade knew how important choosing his wish was and the deliberation process often gave him respite during his hospital stays. “I would get bummed at times but one of the things that made it better was planning my wish,” he said. Quade knew immediately he wanted to go somewhere with “mountains and the ocean and lots of sports and activities.” He engaged everyone who visited him in the hospital and did plenty of research before deciding on his dream destination of New Zealand!
Quade and his family jetted off to the far-away land of New Zealand and were amazing by the landscape. They saw beaches, forests, cities, rolling hills, lava fields and more. They biked through Auckland, climbed to the summit of Rangitoto Island, explored caves, spent time on the beach and had many more adventures while exploring the island.
One of the biggest surprises came while in New Zealand: The New Zealand Men’s Lacrosse team wanted to meet Quade! After meeting Quade at a Kids for Wish Kids® school assembly at Thunder Ridge High School, the Denver Outlaws reached out the New Zealand lacrosse team and told them of Quade’s talent and interest in lacrosse. The New Zealand team contacted Quade and invited him to a training session while he was on his wish trip! The team was very impressed by Quade and praised him on their Instagram page. “He’s a kid who has massive mana and showed us what true strength and determination is all about. Keep in touch!”
Quade’s wish gave him and his family an escape from his illness and allowed them time to be together and have some much-deserved fun. Who knows, maybe he’ll end up back in New Zealand one day with a lacrosse stick in hand, ready to join the team!