When he was just two years old, Cole contracted a fever that wouldn’t break and eventually landed him in the hospital. After a series of blood tests and X-rays, Cole was diagnosed with leukemia. His parents were devastated. “We will never forget that day and hearing those words come out of the doctor’s mouth,” Cole’s mom, Julie, said.
"After Cole was diagnosed, everything seemed to get put on hold," Julie said. Both of Cole's parents missed nearly a month of work, and their first family vacation had to be cancelled. For the next three years, Cole's treatment would be the focus of their lives.
Cole went through 30 lumbar punctures, chemotherapy treatments and 28 straight days of steroid treatments – resulting in the inability to walk from weakness in his legs. He even suffered a severe allergic reaction to his medication. With all the setbacks he’s faced, Cole hasn’t let cancer hold him back. He handled every part of his treatment plan like a champ from day one.
Cole loves Star Wars. Whether he’s playing with action figures or watching the movies, he immerses himself in a universe where he can fight for justice on behalf of The Force. Therefore, when Make-A-Wish Minnesota asked Cole about his wish, he immediately knew he wanted it to involve Star Wars.
This summer, Cole took his very first family vacation when his wish to go to Jedi training camp at Walt Disney World® Resort came true. Cole and his big brother, Chase, learned how to wield a light saber and use Jedi mind tricks. They also fought the strongest members of the Dark Side.
Cole’s parents were thrilled to see their boys running through the Disney® parks with smiles on their faces. “This adventure allowed us to — for a week — be a family focused on fun and new adventures,” Julie said, “and not worry about cancer, relapse, death, pain, and everything else that goes along with a child that is sick."
Today, Cole is in remission and his family is looking forward to the future. “Cole’s wish was an exciting transition from treatment to a new chapter in his life,” Julie said. “We can’t cure cancer (yet), but cancer or not - there is life. And for a week, we got to do some really fun things that, without Make-A-Wish, we could not have done."