Oliver is a 10-year-old boy who loves the outdoors. Even before leaving for school in the morning, he enjoys squeezing in a bike ride.
In December of 2016, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at St. Jude Midwest Affiliate in Peoria. A child life specialist at the hospital connected Oliver and his family with Make-A-Wish Illinois.
Oliver doesn’t like big crowds and considers a vacation to be a trip spent outside. Before his diagnosis, he experienced a canoe trip he loved, so when it was time to select a wish, he knew he wanted an adventurous outdoor experience.
After meeting with volunteer wish granters, Oliver became excited about the possibilities of the trip. After two and a half years of treatment, the plan was set for Oliver to sleep in a extraordinary tent in Montana.
“He likes unique places to stay,” according to Jamey, Oliver’s mom.
As promised, Oliver was granted a luxurious canvas cabin like tent that the family “glamped” in during their previous trip. Nestled in the woods along Glacier National Park, Oliver and family were fully surrounded by the beauty and adventure of the area.
Oliver’s favorite part of the wish trip was the exhilarating white-water rafting, which he did two days in a row. Alice, Oliver’s younger sister, loved the llama trekking. Jamey described the llamas to be “like big dogs” because of how friendly they were.
On the last day of the trip, the family went on a 11-mile hike to see the Grinnell Glacier. John, Oliver’s dad, was most excited about this adventure. The long and tedious hike “made Oliver feel strong” according to Jamey. The idea of seeing a glacier that likely won’t be there when Oliver is older was a memorable experience for everyone.
Since returning, Oliver has been excited to share the highlights of the adventurous outdoor trip with his friends. He shares that he enjoyed that it reminded him of over other camping vacations the family experienced together before he was diagnosed.