Hayden’s mouth dropped as he stepped into his basement. His hands clutched a bag of video games just purchased after a typical day at school. His eyes trailed over the new room before him. Two video game chairs, an air hockey table, mini hockey set and much more. Even his favorite sports team memorabilia outfitted the walls around him.
Hayden would no longer be spending nights playing video games in a hospital bed or while undergoing chemotherapy treatment. For this day and every day after, the 9-year-old who had battled lymphoid leukemia, would be playing many games in the comfort of his wish – a game room.
“I liked the whole entire wish,” Hayden said. “(My mom and I) talked about a lot of things for my wish, and I decided (on) that because I always wanted a game room the most of all.”
For Hayden’s parents, Kurt and Bonnie, the game room provided much more than a place of refuge for Hayden.
“The wish allowed the family to share their individual ‘wishes’ and to discuss what Hayden’s wish was,” Bonnie said. “Once completed, it brought the family together to enjoy and remember our family’s journey.”
While in the hospital undergoing treatment, Hayden and his family would think of his game room.
“We had tried to remain positive while we went through treatment for Hayden’s leukemia,” Kurt recalled. “The Make-A-Wish experience just complimented our journey with Hayden through the leukemia treatment.”
Hayden, who has a particular liking for the National Hockey League’s Arizona Coyotes, received some autographed items from the team to complete his game room wish. Some other favorite aspects of the reveal for Hayden were the popcorn machine and lava lamp.
“The wish gave him something to dream about (while in the hospital),” Bonnie said. “Make-A-Wish puts a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart.”