Sixteen-year-old Austin had complained of knee pain for a couple months before he and his parents decided to have a doctor check it out. As an intense varsity soccer player, they did not think much of it, assuming the pain was a byproduct of the sport. After several scans, an MRI, and a biopsy, it was determined that the spot on his scans was a small cancerous tumor, osteosarcoma. In a matter of a few short weeks, Austin went from living an active lifestyle playing soccer with his friends to starting chemotherapy during the start of a pandemic. Soccer practice and games were replaced with two rounds of chemotherapy, removal of his tumor, and finishing up with four more rounds of chemotherapy. After hearing that the treatment plan might take 8-12 months, Austin demonstrated immense strength and determination by saying he’d get it done in eight! He stayed positive and was “1000% determined to be back on that (soccer) field playing better than he was before as quickly as God will allow him to.” When Austin told us that he wanted to take his family on a warm beach getaway, we were thrilled to get working on his wish! He had a rough year of putting his passions on hold and enduring intense treatments, so Austin deserved a break and we admired that he wanted it to be something for his entire family to enjoy. He decided to wrap up 2021 with a “Key West Christmas” arranged by Wishes & More! Delta kicked off the wish by driving Austin & fam to their plane in a Porsche SUV. According to his mom, the trip itself “was everything Austin had wished for… relaxation and gorgeous weather.” They explored the island in a golf cart, joined the crowd celebrating the sunsets, enjoyed the iconic Sloppy Joe’s on Duval Street, pet Hemmingway’s 6-toed cats, and climbed an 88-flight stairway to revel in the amazing views from the Key West Light House. In short, “This trip was everything Austin, and our family, had hoped it would be.”

A special thanks to Wish Contributors: Parrot Key Hotel & Villas, Sloppy Joe’s, Hemingway Home, Jungle Queen Riverboats, and our incredible Wish Maker – Colleen Burns Harristhal!

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