Tony Stewart Grants Wish To Little Boy Suffering From Cancer

Madeline RobinsonCorrespondent IJuly 15, 2010

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa- A little boy dealing with cancer enjoyed the wish of his life by meeting Tony Stewart through Kids Wish Network.


Tyler has always been a big NASCAR fan and he’s always up for watching a race on TV, especially when his favorite driver, Tony Stewart, is driving. So, when he was given the chance to wish for anything that his heart desired, it came as no surprise to Tyler’s mom that her son wanted only to meet his hero, Tony Stewart.


Tyler was given the chance have a wish granted through national children’s charity Kids Wish Network. His mother found out about the organization and the wishes they grant to children like Tyler who are suffering with life-threatening illnesses through an internet search for wish granting organizations.


You see, Tyler began having continuous headaches back in 2007. His doctor had him undergo an MRI which revealed that Tyler had a cancerous tumor on his brain. Shortly after the discovery, Tyler was taken into surgery where surgeons removed a portion of the tumor. They also implanted a shunt in his head to help drain the excess fluid buildup that the tumor was causing around his brain. To this day, Tyler must be monitored closely.


After Tyler was approved for a wish, his Kids Wish Network wish coordinator began planning an itinerary for Tyler and his family to follow that included accommodations during their stay, a trip to the Six Flags theme park in Chicago, tickets to the Chicagoland Speedway to watch 2 NASCAR races, a ride in a jet propelled speedboat, dinners every evening and, of course, a meet and greet with Tony Stewart!


“Jill [Tyler’s wish coordinator] did a fantastic job picking out things for us to do,” said Tina, Tyler’s mother. “The meals were great – Tyler got to try some iconic Chicago meals with a Chicago deep dish pizza and a Chicago style hot dog!”


Their first day in Illinois was a fun one, with Tyler and his family visiting Six Flags, where Tyler really enjoyed riding all of the roller coasters he wanted. And, when the day was done, they all relaxed at Chicago’s Essex Inn. There, a special surprise was waiting for Tyler.


“When we got in the room, there were little NASCAR toys on Tyler’s night stand! We even met the manager of the hotel who gave him [Tyler] a NASCAR shirt and hat! We were blown away with the kindness he showed us.”


The next day was the big one for Tyler, who proudly wore his brand new NASCAR gear when he visited the Chicagoland Speedway with his family and his wish coordinator. Once there, he was taken into the pits where he met his hero in person.


“Tony Stewart was just wonderful and answered all of Tyler’s questions,” said Tina. “Although Tyler was a little nervous at first, he opened right up when Tony just kept talking to him…he signed all of the NASCAR stuff that Tyler brought and took a bunch of pictures with us. It was just fantastic!”


During the meeting, Tyler presented Tony with a special keychain, a scrapbook with pictures of Tyler and a four leaf clover, “for luck.”


The next day was spent riding in the Seadog, a jet propelled speedboat; exploring Chicago; and watching another NASCAR race that evening. Tyler was amazed with everything he experienced and all in all, it was a dream come true.


According to Tina, “Tyler always wanted to go to a NASCAR race and with your help [at Kids Wish Network], he was finally able to do that. Thank you so much.”  


Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Tyler’s wish extra special: Tony Stewart, Chicagoland Speedway, Chicago’s Essex Inn, Six Flags Great America, Fairfield Inn Chicago Gurnee, Lou Malnati’s Chicago Trolley, Timothy O’Toole’s Pub, Charlie’s Ale House, Seadog Ventures and Shedd Aquarium.


Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children in crisis. Every child deserves a chance at happiness; a wish is just a way of bringing them that joy. If you would like to sponsor a child’s wish or if you know a child who is suffering from a life-threatening illness and may be in need of Kids Wish Network’s wish granting services, please call 727-937-3600 or toll free 888-918-9004. For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit their website at www.kidswishnetwork.org