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Make-A-Wish: Tommy’s Family Battles Cancer, Travels To Italy

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Once a month on the WCCO Saturday morning show, we’re going to try to bring you the story of a different Make-A-Wish child.

This time we’re introducing you to Tommy Costello, a 15-year-old whose cancer diagnosis was just the start of a harrowing year for his family.

“I had never had any really big health issues,” Tommy said.

But that was about to change as doctors discovered he had Hodgkins lymphoma.

And just days after Tommy got his diagnosis, his father’s sister lost her battle with cancer.

“To the kids, especially the younger they are the more this is the case. Cancer is cancer, there’s no discrepancy between what type. It’s ‘The C Word,’ right? So we told our kids Auntie Terri just died of cancer and now Tommy’s got it,” father Pat said.

The next week, Pat was scheduled for what doctors said was fairly straightforward open heart surgery.

“I thought man, I’m going to be in and out and then we can focus Tommy’s deal, well then it went horribly wrong,” Pat said.

But Pat’s heart stopped for about 10 minutes before doctors were able to revive him.

“You stop and look at things in perspective,” Tommy said.

Through the doctors at Children’s Hospital, Tommy heard about the Make-A-Wish foundation. He decided on his wish — a trip to Italy.

“I’ve always been kind of a history buff, so I’ve always loved religious history, ancient history,” Tommy said. “When we were in Rome we saw all of the Vatican, St. Peter’s, the Sistine Chapel, we saw the Coliseum.”

But even on the trip of a lifetime, the highlight was something that had eluded them over the last year.

“My fondest memory honestly, was not some of the archeological stuff, but just being there and being able to relax at an Italian restaurant,” Tommy said. “After what we went through, being able to be together — and all be healthy together — was exactly what my family needed at that point.”

C.H. Robinson made a donation in honor of Tommy’s wish through the Adopt-A-Wish program at Make-A-Wish Minnesota.

To learn more, click here.

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