A 700-truck convoy and parade took nearly 80 Make-A-Wish families on a much-deserved ride Sunday for the 20th annual Wishes on Wheels event at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.
“I like pickup trucks,” Cameron Wilson, of Wallingford, said.
It wasn’t a typical Sunday for Cameron, who got to pick out a truck to ride in with his family out of a lineup of hundreds.
His sights were set on something colorful.
“Black and red, black and yellow, purple and pink, black and blue,” Cameron said.
As he danced and jumped around Rentschler Field Sunday morning, you couldn’t tell what he’s been through. But Cameron is a little fighter who hasn’t had it easy.
“Cameron’s been through a lot,” his dad, Brendan Wilson, told NBC Connecticut. “He loves cars and trucks, so this is the perfect opportunity for us to just get him out.”
In 2017, at just 2 years old, Cameron was diagnosed with Leukemia.
He has 18 months left of treatment.
“He’s on steroids this week. He’s still getting a lot of chemo at home and at the hospital,” Wilson said.
A truck ride Sunday and the promise of his wish, a trip to Disney, once he’s healthy enough to travel, get the Wilson family through the tough times.
Wishes on Wheels has raised more than $1.6 million over the years to make wishes like Cameron’s come true.
“100-percent of what’s donated goes directly towards the kids' wishes,” said Pam Keough, President & CEO of Make-A-Wish Connecticut.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut has granted 3,300 wishes across the state.
This year alone they will grant 250 wishes, according to Keough.
At 14 years old, Braden Shumbo from Plainville wished for an African safari in Florida.
Cole Kubicza from Cheshire is 9. He wished for a swimming pool and since its installation in his yard, he has seen improved mobility and strength.
Out of all of the events benefiting their cause, Wishes on Wheels stands out.
“This is amazing,” said an emotional Kristin Garrison, the Executive Vice President of Wishes on Wheels.
Garrison is part of the team that makes Wishes on Wheels possible, and had a special shout-out for the hundreds of truck drivers who spent their Sunday making Connecticut “Wish Kids” smile.
“We can’t thank them enough for spending their own time, not getting paid, using their own fuel, coming out to escort these Wish Children on this journey with us.”