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Amy McMullen

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You can help give a child like Bryce hope!

I've accepted the Trailblaze Challenge! Iím training to hike 26.3 miles & also raising money to grant wishes for 300 children currently waiting on a wish.

Each week I will feature a different wish story to share with you. These children and families are at the heart of the mission of Make-A-Wish and the reason I am on this journey.

This year, three wish parents are hiking and fundraising with us! The following was written by Wish Dad and Trailblazer Jeremy about his son Bryce.

This is Bryce. My 6 year old son. In December 2016, Bryce was diagnosed with DIPG- or Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. An inoperable brain tumor that is embedded within the brain stem, the part of your brain that controls many vital functions. We were given the devastating news that on average children diagnosed with this type of cancer will live 9 months from the date of diagnosis. Bryce died December 14th, 2017 after a courageous year-long battle. But Iím not going to focus on all the struggles and the hard times. I want to share with you some of the best memories I will ever have with Bryce, his two brothers, and my wife.

Last spring, following his six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy treatments, Childrenís Hospital let us know that Bryce was submitted to Make-A-Wish for wish consideration, and for Bryce to start coming up with ideas of what he wanted. Being the passionate and obsessive Denver Broncos fan that just watched them win Super Bowl 50 the previous season, Bryce colored pictures that only had to do with the Broncos- Mile High Stadium, Von Miller, playing football. Thatís all he wanted. Basically 1 wish- to play football on a real football field with his family (since thatís what we did almost daily in our front yard). And if we met some players, thatíd be cool too.

We were very grateful and hopeful that this would come through, especially in the short time window that we had. Because of his diagnosis, Bryceís wish request was expedited and approved.

So in early June, we boarded a plane and were off to Denver. We didnít have to worry about hotels, rental cars, airfare, planning anything, financesÖ you name it, Make-A-Wish took very good care of us. But most of all, for those few days we didnít have to worry and think about chemo and radiation treatments, needles, medicines, hospitalsÖ tumors, cancer, his prognosis. We were given a much needed break, an escape, from what our life had become. We were given the opportunity to be together, to smile, laugh, and create memories that will truly last a lifetime.

I believe that there are two things that Bryce was a part of last year that encouraged him to stay positive, energized him, and really enabled him to live 3 months beyond what was expected. One was being a member of the local high school baseball team after their coach reached out to us. The other was his Wish Trip. It brought pure joy to him and brightened his life. And it showed us some good in a time when the world was being so cruel, something that we are still fighting through now, but itís these memories that help us keep perspective and hope. These wishes arenít just for the wish kid. They may be focused on them, but they are for the entire family. Tyler, Carson, Suzy, and I have memories, videos, pictures, and mementos that we cherish because of Make-A-Wish. Words will never be able to express our true gratitude for this organization and the people that make dreams come true for so many children.

Thereís a quote that I came across recently that seems fitting in many facets of life, but especially now more than ever as I look forward to taking part in this Trailblaze Challenge. It says ďWhen you feel like quitting, when you think about giving up, just remember why you started in the first place.Ē Bryce is my 1st reason. And there are countless other reasons out there that I will be hiking for in May.

We are so thankful for Bryce and this incredible family. Please take a few minutes to watch a video of Bryce's Wish Trip:

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