When life gets tough, how do you mentally escape? Do you watch TV, exercise or read? Maybe you talk to a friend or take a drive.
Dealing with kidney cancer at age four has made life quite tough for Dakota and his family. How does brave little Dakota escape? Video games.
He turns on his Nintendo® Wii™ and finds himself in a different world, one where he is always healthy enough to run, jump and climb. One where he doesn’t have to think about the disease that fills his world with doctor visits, procedures, pain, illness and uncertainty.
His favorite video games involve Nintendo characters Mario & Luigi™. He loves to help these two brothers battle their way across the screen and overcome challenge after challenge.
When asked if he had a wish that we could grant, he was quick to say, “I wish to meet Mario & Luigi!”
So that’s just what Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia did for Dakota and his family. We flew them from their home in Pennsylvania to Seattle, Washington. They were picked up in limo and taken to Nintendo’s headquarters where Dakota was thrilled to be met in the lobby by two familiar characters, Mario & Luigi!
The two brothers greeted and hugged Dakota, who could not believe his eyes. It was as if they had stepped right out from the TV screen and appeared in front of him.
Then Mario & Luigi took Dakota on a real-life adventure exploring the fascinating state-of-the-art Nintendo building. One of the highlights for Dakota was spending time in an amazing video game room playing any games he pleased. He loved it!
After they all had a delicious meal in the Nintendo headquarters dining room, Dakota visited the Nintendo company store. He picked out a ton of games and souvenirs so he could remember one of the best days he’d ever had.
Now, when Dakota plays Nintendo video games featuring Mario & Luigi, it means much more to him. He is reminded of the time that the two brothers spent a fun-filled day with him. As he helps them overcome obstacles on the screen, Dakota has a bit more strength to help overcome the obstacles he faces every day fighting cancer.