Being a teenager is difficult enough, but for 16-year-old Austin, the diagnosis of testicular cancer made teenage life more challenging. After finding out that the cancer spread to his lymph nodes, Austin went through three rounds of chemotherapy and an intensive surgery to remove the tumors.
His passion for playing high school football and the trombone in band became distant memories as weakness overcame him. Eventually, Austin’s parents made the decision to homeschool him due to the amount of class he was missing because of mental and physical exhaustion.
“It was hard to see him go through such a drastic change in such a short period of time,” said Austin’s mom, Alla. “He’s just your typical teenage boy and his diagnosis affected our whole family. We had to take time off work to get him to appointments and we could tell that missing school was hard on him.”
When Austin was referred to Make-A-Wish® Colorado, he thought long and hard about his wish, bringing some positivity and excitement back into his life.
“After my surgery and rounds of chemo, I was concerned with missing so much school and really wanted to keep in contact with my teachers,” said Austin. “I decided to wish for an electronics shopping spree so that I could get all the latest Apple technology and use it for school!”
For his wish, Austin and his family were picked up in a limousine and driven to Park Meadows Mall for his shopping spree at the Apple store.
“It was amazing,” said Austin about his favorite part of the wish experience. “I walked into the Apple store and the entire staff lined up and clapped and cheered for me. It made me feel really special that it was my wish day!”
After learning more about the Apple products, Austin left the store with an Apple TV, MacBook Pro, iPad Air, iTunes gift cards and protective cases for his new gadgets!
Austin and his family then went to Maggiano’s for a celebration lunch after some intense shopping! The Maggiano’s staff also welcomed Austin and his family by personalizing their visit down to the color and flavor of Austin’s favorite cake pops!
“The entire day was unbelievable,” said Alla. “Austin was so happy and couldn’t stop smiling. He felt honored to be given such an unforgettable gift.”
Austin was pronounced cancer-free in November 2013 and since then, has gone back to school and continues to use his Apple electronics on a daily basis.