LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – Around 600 people came out to support Wish kids and their families at Hudson Garden’s for Make-A-Wish Colorado’s annual Walk For Wishes in Littleton —emceed by CBS4 Meteorologist Dave Aguilera.
The event raised more than $80,000 for the nonprofit to help grant wishes to sick kids.
“I never thought out of everybody in the world, it’d be me,” said Korben Patterson.
He was finishing up his junior year in high school, when a routine trip to the doctor would reveal he had a form of thyroid cancer. The news sent his mind reeling.
“Is this it? Am I done? What’s my family going to think? What’s everybody going to think? Because this changes everything for me,” he said.
Korben would undergo two surgeries, which would permanently damage his voice, but the treatments are working.
“His prognosis is great right now, so the world is his as far as we’re concerned,” said Korben’s mom, Stephanie Patterson.
For his wish, Korben went to Disney World with his family.
“Having the cool passes that allowed us to get on the rides before everybody, that was just the best,” he said.
Korben is attending college to become a web developer.
“Life is not perfect for anybody, but can be perfect with the help of all of your friends and family,” he said.
Life was certainly not perfect for then 2-year-old Sawyer Gonzales.
“Sawyer was throwing up all the time, she couldn’t keep anything down and couldn’t keep any weight on,” said Sawyer’s mom Becky.
After three months of being in and out of the hospital, doctors performed an MRI, revealing a brain tumor. Surgery would initially leave Sawyer unable to walk and cross-eyed. And then came a year of chemotherapy.
“You keep your head up and pray. You cry when you need to, you keep looking for the bright spots and you keep going,” she said.
Sawyer’s wish was for a playhouse with a doorbell.
“I like playing in it, reading in it and working in it,” said Sawyer who is now 6 years old and in 1st Grade.
PHOTO GALLERY: 2019 Walk For Wishes
She is able to walk and play normally. She loves to read and wants to be a police officer when she grows up. Her message to all those who helped her along the way was simple.
“Thank you,” she said.
If you would like to help grant wishes for kids like Korden and Sawyer, you can visit https://colorado.wish.org/