BOARDMAN -- Dreams really do come true. At least that's what Kyle Wright, an 8-year-old second-grader from Poland North Elementary, thought when he went on a shopping spree Wednesday.
Kyle is undergoing treatment at the Cleveland Clinic for neurofibromatosis, a disease that causes tumors to grow in his body, primarily in his brain.
His day of shopping, which was kicked off at his school, was granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Cleveland. The foundation paid for gift cards at the Southern Park Mall, Wal-Mart and Toys "R" Us.
Kyle and his parents, Sandy and Joe Wright, rode to their shopping destinations in style in a stretch limousine, also paid for by Make-A-Wish.
Included in his shopping expedition today was a visit to the Disney Store at the mall, where he also made an individualized stuffed animal at the Build-a-Bear store.
Then it was off to Jillian's Restaurant for lunch and to bowl and play the many games there.
The next stop was the Boardman Wal-Mart. Kyle was so busy perusing the aisles of toys that he didn't really have too much to say, except that he was "pretty excited" about his special day.
He did stop for a moment to press a button that made a large remote control car in the shopping cart sound like it was ready to fly out of its box. Anything that said Power Rangers seemed to be a favorite of the young boy. He will also be getting a PlayStation from the store.
Also on the itinerary was dinner at Olive Garden. Kyle's best friend, Matthew Kello, a fellow second-grader, was joining in the celebration with the Wright family.
In addition, Kyle received an American Kennel Club-pedrigreed Pug dog as a part of his wish. He called his 7-week-old puppy Samson, named after a dog once owned by his grandmother.
The second-grader was diagnosed with the brain tumors last July 22 and began chemotherapy in September. His mother said there is a tumor in his brain stem, another on the optic nerve and a third in the memory center located between the two hemispheres of the brain.
Teacher, pupils supportive
Kyle receives treatment every Friday for four consecutive weeks, then is off treatment for two weeks. His mother said her son is a real trouper as he battles this disease.
"It's going to be a long haul, but Kyle doesn't seem to mind it. Not many kids could tolerate what he has to go through," she added.
Even with his weekly treatments and their side effects and missing school days, his mother said that Kyle is in the top 5 percent of his class academically and has been able to keep up with his studies.
Mrs. Wright said the school, his teacher and the principal have all been very supportive of Kyle and their family. She noted the pupils in his class have been told about his disease and they understand that his tumors aren't contagious.
Pupils at Poland North have already raised $4,000 to help defray some of the costs of Kyle's treatment with a goal of $5,000.
His mother said that even his Cub Scout troop held a spaghetti dinner recently to raise money for the youngster.
Mrs. Wright said an account has been set up at First National Bank in Kyle's name. She said, "We've been blessed with so many people helping us."
And Kyle thought he was pretty blessed with his big shopping day when his dreams really did come true.