7-Year-Old With Life-Threatening Condition Gets Wish Granted
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WCCO is proud to be teaming up with Make-A-Wish Minnesota as they make kids’ dreams come true. Each year, nearly 300 kids with life-threatening illnesses get their wish granted, thanks to the generosity of people like you.
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Caleb Pence may not have the bones of a normal 7-year-old, but he does have twice the heart.
“It’s osteogenisis imperfecta is the technical term,” his dad Chris Pence said. “It just means he’s got bones that don’t develop and harden like normal kids’ do.”
With everything going on in Caleb’s life, he still thinks about other people all the time, Chris said.
“So every time that we go anywhere, we go to the bank, we’ll get some cash, whatever, he’ll go up and say, ‘Can I have four suckers?’ Not one, he’ll want to make sure he gets some for his brothers and sisters,” Chris said.
Caleb was diagnosed about 18 months ago, but even when he was a baby, his parents knew something just wasn’t right.
“I remember when he was probably 12-18 months, I kinda grabbed underneath (his arms) to pick him up and there were many times when I picked him up and I heard crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch,” Chris said.
Caleb has broken a lot of bones and has spent a lot of time in the hospital or in the doctor’s office. But through it all, his entire family has been by his side, and all they want is for Caleb to get his wish.
“He always wanted to be an astronaut and a space ninja,” Chris said. “Now, I don’t know how those play out, but since he had his diagnosis he stopped talking about that. … As a dad, you love to see your kids happy.”
And today, Caleb was happy.
It all started right across the street from WCCO-TV at the Hilton Hotel when morning anchor Jason DeRusha gave Caleb his first clue.
From there, he rode in style to the Mall of America where Matt Brickman met up with him and his family.
They spent some quality time at SeaLife Aquarium where Caleb got to see sharks, octopus and stingrays. Then, he got to go to Build-A-Bear Workshop, where he made his very own Captain America bear.
And finally you can’t leave the mall without getting on some rides at Nickelodeon Universe, right?
But the journey didn’t end there. His final clue took him to the WCCO-TV studios, where a big surprise was waiting for him.
Watch the video below to see Caleb’s wish come true.
You can help make these wishes come true for other kids just like Caleb by donating your airline miles to Make-A-Wish Minnesota. Just call 1-800-542-9226 to help out.
About 70 percent of the wishes granted by Make-A-Wish involve some sort of airline travel so if you have miles on Delta, United, U.S. Air or points on Sun Country, we’d love to have you donate them and help us reach our goal of 10 million miles.
Caleb’s Make-A-Wish Journey