Posted December 13, 2014
From Oil City
“It is really emotional, he got really sick and almost died,” said Parklen’s mother, Amanda Henderson, about his illness two years ago. “When he goes on his wish this time, he will be running on the beach and doing everything that a little boy should do.”
Parklen was selected for this year’s National Believe Day for Make-a-Wish and Macy’s, where every letter sent to Santa at a participating store, the organization will donate $2 up to a $1 million for wishes across the country.
The treasure hunt was designed to help the Henderson family to prepare for their trip to Hawaii in just over three weeks. Parklen and his first mate and brother, Pason, raced around the store to different stations of Pirates where clues and hints of treasure were abound. Each station provided a different item that could be used on the trip, pajamas, games for the flight and more.
Beyond swimming with dolphins, the family with be enjoying a luau, a trip on a glass-bottom boat and some beach fun.
“His grandma has talked about her trip to Hawaii and told the kids about it,” said Henderson. “I think that kind of planted the seed in his head and he really wants to kiss a dolphin.”
Two years ago his wish was granted for a trip to Hawaii, but since he was so sick he could not walk and the trip had to be cancelled as Parklen was being treated in the intensive care unit.
He has been at home and out of the public since his bone marrow transplant, this is one of the first occasions that he has been around people and the first chance to meet Santa. Running around the store and playing made his mother emotional as she watched her boy hunt for treasure.
“As a mom, it makes you almost lose it because it is so great to see,” she said.
“He has been sick his whole life, all six years,” said Henderson. “God worked it out and he is ok, he is alive and thriving, this is emotional to watch.”