Meet cancer survivor Henry Hernandez, a 17-year-old from Woodburn. He could have spent his Friday afternoon over summer break with friends, skateboarding. Instead, he spent it at the pediatric oncology floor at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital brightening a dark time in these kiddos’ lives, even just for a moment—gifting them a buddy they can cherish forever.
“I hope for them to receive teddy bear and have a heartwarming feeling of joy and happiness even for the moment it means a lot,” Henry explained. He knows because it meant a lot to him when a nurse gifted him a teddy bear during his stay at Doernbecher last year when he was fighting cancer. “I remember grabbing it,” Henry recalled. “It’s like, ‘Wow!’ Very heartwarming and gave me that joy.”
Henry said it helped ease his anxiety. “For like a moment everything felt alright. Everything felt perfect.” Gifting that peace to other kids fighting was his one true wish: to grant other kids wishes. Not to get, but to give.
“I personally don’t need anything,” Henry said. “I have a beautiful family and the fact I’m here right now is kind of all I need.”
Make-A-Wish helped make Henry’s day of giving a reality with a shopping spree at the Disney Store.
His battle with cancer had also come full circle. The day he delivered all of the toys was one year to the day of when he got his tumor removed at that very hospital.