WYANET — Fourteen-year-old Devin Cole could have asked for a trip to somewhere like Disney World or Hawaii, but instead he asked for new lawn mowing equipment as his wish from the Make A Wish Foundation.
The Wyanet teen, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor two years ago, was contacted last fall by the Make A Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to young people who have life-threatening health issues.
As he sat in his home this week with his sister, Jessica Cole, Devin said he did think about asking the Make A Wish Foundation to arrange for him to meet skateboarder Rod Dyrdek, but he thought about it only briefly. Devin, who sometimes struggles with balance, knew he needed to look ahead, to have something he could continue to do in the future as a job.
In all her time with the Make a Wish Foundation, the foundation representative told Devin’s parents, Jamie and Tina Cole, that she’d never heard any young person have that kind of request before.
Two weeks ago, Devin got his wish when the Make-A-Wish representative and a Home Depot representative brought to his home two zero turn lawnmowers, two weed eaters, a leaf blower, a chainsaw and other items to help him maintain his new equipment.
Devin said he was really surprised and excited when he looked out the window and saw everything he got. He’s been mowing yards for about two years ago, starting with a push mower and then getting a used rider mower last year. He mows about six yards, along with his own. This new equipment will really help, he said.
Telling her son’s story, Tina Cole said Devin was diagnosed with a tumor on the brain stem a couple years ago, when he was 12 years old.
When they got the diagnosis, she and her husband felt like their world ended, Tina said. They couldn’t believe their child had a brain tumor. His type of tumor is typically on the frontal lobe and can be removed. Only 1 percent of the world’s population has this type of tumor on the brain stem, Tina said.
On Oct. 11, 2012, Devin had surgery to try to remove the tumor, but it couldn’t be done. Devin has since undergone proton radiation. He’s had a lot of migraine headaches and nosebleeds, but the headaches have gotten better. He wears sunglasses to protect his eyes from the sun and wind, his mother said.
Devin does realize the seriousness of the situation, Tina said. He’s a quiet boy by nature and doesn’t show a lot of emotions outside of the family.
An eighth-grader at Bureau Valley South in Buda, Devin attends school but doesn’t participate in physical education because he can’t take the chance of his head getting hit. He is manager of the school’s track team. When not at school or mowing yards, he enjoys watching television, playing video games and hanging out with his family and friends.
Devin has an MRI done every six months to measure the tumor and make sure it isn’t growing. If the tumor starts to grow, there is no treatment for that, Tina said. The hope and prayer of the family is that Devin’s tumor doesn’t grow, she said.
Sitting next to her brother on Monday, Jessica Cole said Devin’s health concern has brought an already close family that much closer together. They’ve learned to cherish the moments they have with Devin and each other, she said.
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