The Make-A-Wish Foundation celebrated World Wish Day Sunday. Part of their celebration in Central New York was granting a very special wish for a three-year-old in Ilion. Our Andrew Sorensen has this heart-warming story.
ILION, N.Y. -- Three-year-old Will Schrader from Ilion discovered his love for hockey while undergoing leukemia treatments last year.
"When he got his bone marrow transplant last year we were in Boston Children's Hospital and that's when the playoffs were going on and Boston ended up taking the Stanley Cup," his mother, Jill Schrader explained Sunday.
As he recovered from his surgery and went into remission, Will's parents couldn't get him out of a Bruin's jersey. So when Make-A-Wish wish granters met him, he only wanted one thing.
"He told them he wanted a hockey rink," Schrader said.
"This is my most unusual wish so far and actually, the most interesting wish and I think it's been my most fun wish, too," Make-A-Wish wish granter Elly Kimball said.
Make-A-Wish just finished the synthetic, year-round material that Will named the Schrader Garden, after the T.D. Garden in Boston. He has been patient over the two week construction, but kids can only wait so long.
"I mean, he's been waiting for people to come so he can get on it for two days," his mother said.
Make-A-Wish also gave Will some skating lessons. He's still figuring that part out, but he's on his way to being like his hero, Tim Thomas.
Will explains when you ask him who Thomas is: "He's the goalie for the Boston Bruins!"
To his parents, the rink is a symbol of triumph.
"For us, it's like a close," Schrader said.
A year into remission from his cancer, Will is already as tough as any hockey player. Thanks to Make-A-Wish, he's well on his way to being one.