A Detroit Lakes boy, and cancer survivor, was granted a special wish by a Minnesota nonprofit on Tuesday, which featured a special delivery from local law enforcement.
Abdullahi Johnson, 3, was diagnosed with nephroblastoma, a form of kidney cancer, when he was around 1-year-old. Through a series of treatments over the next two years, Abdullahi beat his cancer and is currently in remission. However, he will need to undergo regular check-ups over the five years to make sure the cancer stays defeated, his mother said.
"It actually feels good that my son is doing a lot better than he was," said Stephanie Johnson, Abdullahi's mother. But, she added, the whole experience has been "nerve-wracking."
Due to being diagnosed with cancer at such a young age, Abdullahi's development was stalled. He is currently undergoing intense therapy to raise his motor and developmental skills. So, his mother wished for an iPad to help with the boy's virtual learning modules and give him an entertainment outlet.
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The family was put in touch with the Minneapolis-based non-profit, Wishes and More, through Children's Hospital of Minnesota and the organization granted Abdullahi a wish.
Karla Blomberg, one of the founders of Wishes and More, said Abdullahi's mom has been using her phone to access the virtual lessons and the iPad will give the boy a chance to learn more consistently with his own device.
Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander and Detroit Lakes Police Chief Steven Todd delivered the gifts Tuesday, Sept. 7; surprising Abdullahi with a caravan of law enforcement and EMS vehicles that turned up the under-construction road with short siren bursts and bright flashing lights.
In addition to the iPad, the boy received a series of Paw Patrol merchandise, one of his favorite shows, including a toy car that seemed to grab more of Abdullahi's attention than the brand electronics.
"The reason we started Wishes and More was to be able to be more local," said Blomberg. "And to be able to do wishes that we couldn't do at Make-A-Wish, like hunting wishes and things that are Midwest."
The Wishes and More non-profit was formed in 2004 to fill the gaps of other wish granting charities serving children, according to the group's website. The founders have also served as volunteer members on the board of directors for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
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