11-14-2005, 02:16 AM #1
MakeAwishFoundation-PSL 9-year-old with cancer granted wish to be king of own castle
PORT ST. LUCIE — Survival is not something most kids think about. The thought crosses 9-year-old Cody Denig's mind every day.
Saturday afternoon, Denig was granted his desire to become king of his own backyard castle by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Northern Florida. Many onlookers held court to watch His Highness strut up the steps to the freshly painted fortress.
Cody was first diagnosed with cancer at 6 when doctors located a cancerous tumor in his right arm. He has had five cancer-related surgeries, and travels every three months with mom, Lori Denig, to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for testing and treatment.
Cody shares a home with his parents, Lori and Norm, and 12-year-old brother, Matthew, in the 2600 block of Harem Circle. Norm and Matthew stay in Port St. Lucie while Lori and Cody return to Texas.
The fourth-grader at F.K. Sweet Elementary Magnet School already has a busy schedule. But he's a man with a mission: to educate the public about childhood cancer.
The kingly festivities kicked off with some thematic music that included the theme from the movie "Rocky," "I'm Proud to be an American" and Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying."
Before the castle was unveiled, Cody doled out sage advice to a 50-member audience.
"A lot of people think about surviving hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes and other natural disasters. But I have cancer and that is a different natural disaster," he said.
Cody urged parents to trust their instincts like his own parents.
"If a doctor tells you it's nothing, and you know something is wrong, go to another doctor for another opinion."
Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. Many children choose to have a brush with fame or visit a theme park. But Cody's wish for a castle is unique.
Cody spotted a child-size castle at CityPlace in West Palm Beach a few years ago. The built-to-scale castle inspired his wish, Norm said.
"He deserves it," brother Matthew said.
"It's not just the kid that goes through the diagnosis and treatment ... it's the whole family," Lori Denig said.
The 20-member Boy Scout Troop 422 — brother Matthew is a member — erected the castle last weekend. Supplies for the castle were in a kit ordered by Make-A-Wish Foundation when they approached the troop for help. The boys and troop leaders constructed and painted the palace in about five hours, troop leader Dee Colonna said.
"It was a life experience for all," she said.
Girl Scout Emily Reilly, of Troop 706, and Girl Scout Troop 404 donated soda can tabs to help fund Cody's stay at the Ronald McDonald house while he is in Texas.
Cody and Lori return to Texas today so doctors can monitor three new growths in his arm, Lori Denig said. Beaming and crowned Saturday afternoon, the hospital seemed far from his mind.
Wish fulfiller Dianna Brown, from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, said Cody's modesty makes him extra special. "He wanted something small, but we wanted to think big," she said. "He understands that material is not over family."
11-14-2005, 03:54 AM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2005
What a sweet story!
Make A Wish Foundation & Ronald McDonald House are 2 of my favourite charities. 6 years ago my boss lost his 4 yr old son to cancer & they were absolutely fantastic to Jack & his family.
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