Michael wasn’t acting like himself. His dad’s concerns grew when he became extremely lethargic and noticeably pale. He was taken to the hospital, and tests revealed he has Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory condition of the digestive tract. Michael remained hospitalized for 3 weeks, and his illness has greatly affected his quality of life. He’s had many challenges with his health… intestinal surgeries, a low immune system, and a high white blood cell count building up to Leukemia levels. He also suffers with weekly abscesses. When he walks too much, it causes him to bleed, and when he sits too long, it causes him great pain.
Michael’s happiness comes from NASCAR, collecting cars and especially watching his favorite race car driver Kyle Busch. Kids Wish Network was fueled to create an amazing experience for Michael, placing him in the Winner’s Circle. Michael’s wish put him on track with NASCAR, and having him meeting his racing idol Kyle Busch.
The week before Michael’s wish, there was great disappointment. Michael had disturbing symptoms that prevented him from traveling, and had to postpone his trip. Due to Kyle Busch’s schedule, this was the only chance for Michael to meet him. He was devastated.
Kyle Busch graciously recorded a personalized video message for Michael giving him encouragement to get well, stay strong and follow his career goals of becoming an automobile engineer. Michael felt very special.
Over the following days, Michael took medications to help alleviate some of his worst symptoms. A week later, he was cleared to travel.
During the wish, Michael and his dad toured Kyle Busch Motor Sports. He felt like a VIP receiving a private tour and gifts. They also visited Joe Gibbs Racing. During his private tour, he met with NASCAR Championship team owner Joe Gibbs. Michael also enjoyed behind the scenes experiences of the shop seeing the pit crew in action, special series of racing vehicles, tool department and trophies.
Then the unexpected happened… staff showed Michael a prized trophy. He was asked if he knew who won it. Michael said, “Kyle Busch.” When Michael turned around, a staff member said, “This guy here you mean?” Kyle Busch was standing right in front of him. Michael was a little star-struck by his amazing surprise. Kyle spoke to him about the big day that he won the trophy, spent time getting to know Michael, and had signed gifts for him. “I’m glad that you were able to make it today,” said Kyle. “You got a home tour… saw me… I saw you… now our days are made.”
“Meeting Kyle Busch inspired Michael,” said his dad Michael. “It was the best present he could ever receive.”
During the wish, Michael and his dad enjoyed beautiful accommodations at the Westin Charlotte. The hotel festively decorated his room in a Cars theme and had a welcome basket filled with car gifts. “The hotel was amazing,” said Michael’s dad. They also made many memories at SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium and Carolinas Aviation Museum. “Getting to see the Hudson exhibit was all Michael talked about… until Monday,” said his dad. “That was the day he met Kyle Busch.”
They dined at Longhorn Steakhouse, and kindly received a gift card from the Capital Grille and tickets to the Levine Museum of the new South, since he was not feeling well and unable to attend when scheduled.
“Every single person went above and beyond,” said Michael’s dad. “The wish made him so happy. I’ve never seen him smile as much as he did in the last 4 days.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following sponsors for making Michael’s dreams become a reality:
- Kyle Busch Motor Sports
- Kyle Busch
- Joe Gibbs Racing
- Joe Gibbs
- NASCAR Hall of Fame
- The Westin Charlotte hotel
- The Capital Grille
- Longhorn Steakhouse
- SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
- Levine Museum of the New South
- Carolinas Aviation Museum
To read about their first hand expereince with this wish, read Michael’s dad’s BLOG HERE: