Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:54:16 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A six-year-old Louisville boy was given a 50 percent chance of survival when first diagnosed with cancer three years ago. But at the Make-A-Wish Gala in Louisville on Thursday, after going through the medical battle of a lifetime, Avy Stettler learned he'll be going on the trip of a lifetime.
For so much of Avy's life he's been all too aware of his limits.
"I had chemo and I couldn't go," he said.
Aware of the things he couldn't do that other children could.
"He hasn't really had an opportunity to be a normal little boy to go to school to go to the playground, to interact with lots of kids because his immune system has been so compromised for so long," explained Make-A-Wish granter Cate Darmstadt.
I was at the hospital for a long time," Avy said.
At the age of 2, Avy was diagnosed with leukemia. Extensive chemotherapy and spinal taps followed, and soon he started losing his hair.
"We got out the clippers and started shaving his head, recalled Avy's dad, Chad. "We got him a couple of nice hats and he wore them the whole time.
"It's been a long journey but he'd handled it great," said Avy's mother, Paige.
Avy is now in remission, although he still undergoes monthly chemotherapy treatments. With the constant trips to the hospital it has been a long time since Avy and his family have taken a real vacation.
That's where the Make-A -Wish foundation stepped in.
"Avy's wish is fantastic," said Make-A-Wish granter Jamie Darmstadt. "Avy wanted to go inside of a volcano and look at rocks with his magnifying glass and build sand castles."
Thanks to a referral from Kosair Children's Hospital and the generosity of donors, Avy's wish is being granted. The family heads to Hawaii this weekend, all expenses paid.
"It gives everybody a break from the medical and just a great time to enjoy each other," said Cate Darmstadt.
"We're just so thankful and amazed that what he picked we're getting able to do -- it's just crazy I just can't believe it," said his mother.
Make-A-Wish grants wishes solely through donations. Avy was granted his wish at Thursday night's fundraising gala in downtown Louisville. Click http://oki.wish.org/ for more information.