We’re three weeks away from Christmas, but Santa arrived early in Appleton to help grant one little boy’s wish.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin is marking a milestone while making a holiday dream a reality.
Benjamin Thompson is six years old; he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia three years ago.
To the everyday passerby, the display outside the Thompson home in Appleton may be just another holiday fixture, but for Ben, it topped his Christmas list way before the holiday season rolled around.
His wish: his own Christmas light display synchronized to music.
“Ben is living with leukemia and to be able to give him something, to give him great joy, not only just for today, but for this entire season,” says Make-A-Wish Wisconsin marketing director Forrest Doolen. “Not to mention the memories that will stick with him and his family for the rest of their lives.”
Ben is chipper after receiving some special treatment, a ride in a limo and a letter writing session to Santa, but he’s had a long three years.
He’s approaching the last portion of his treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
“We had to go through the struggles of watching him not be able to walk, re-learn to walk and now he’s functioning at the level of a six or seven-year-old child,” says Ben’s father Randy. “So it’s been a real growing experience for us to watch him actually redevelop.”
The display took several weeks to set up and required collaboration from nearly 10 different companies.
“Seeing all the support for him has just been overwhelming and just fantastic, because I didn’t realize people are this supportive and it is awesome,” says Ben’s mother Nicole.
As Wisconsin’s Make-A-Wish grants its 7000th wish, they’re hoping to continue to light up more kid’s lives.
“There’s no such thing as not enough support,” says Randy. “People are willing to help wherever you need it.”
Starting Thursday, December 5, through December 29, every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 6:00 p.m. and at 8:00 p.m., the public will be able to watch Ben’s Christmas light show and hear the synchronized music at Ben’s home.