One day at basketball practice, 15-year-old Adam noticed a lump on his neck. At first, he didn’t think much of it, originally thinking it was swelling that would go away. The swelling didn’t go away, his doctors did a biopsy and found it to be cancerous. After tests, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

“I will never forget when the doctors came out, they pulled up a chair and they said, ‘we don’t want to sugarcoat this, we found a large mass in his chest’ and from that I can honestly say I don’t know if I heard anything further,” Adam’s mom remembered. “But I can’t say that he ever complained about his diagnosis or asked why me.”

Adam’s oncologist spoke with his dad about referring him to Make-A-Wish® Iowa. He reassured his dad that the experience is not just for terminally ill children, but it is for children with critical illnesses.

“He wanted to meet Alan Iverson, Adam’s wish-granting volunteers suggested meeting the whole All-Star Team and going to the NBA All-Star Game,” Adam’s dad shared.

Adam went to the 2006 NBA All-Star in Houston. It was the perfect wish for someone infatuated with sports, especially basketball. He was gifted a basketball signed by the All-Star team and was able to meet players he looked up to, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

His favorite part was meeting his hero, “I got to meet Allen Iverson, get a photo with him and he signed my jersey. It was like meeting your idols and it exceeds your expectations,” Adam remembered.

Adam’s wish gave him a renewed strength to keep fighting and hope for the future. After 15 years, Adam is now giving back to Make-A-Wish Iowa. “It wasn’t until recently that I thought to myself I want to give back to an organization that has given me so much,” he said. “So I wanted to do whatever I could to in terms of volunteering or helping. I’ll do what I can to make sure that other kids get the same experience, I’ll never forget it.”