Arnold Schwarzenegger Teaches Fan with Cystic Fibrosis How to Drive a Tank
Photo credit: MEAWW
People spend so much time chasing their dreams, and sometimes it can start to feel like they are impossible to reach. But the little things in life can show that dreams really do come true, and for Logan Decker, that dream became a reality earlier this year with a little help from his community.
Logan Decker's dream became a reality
For 15-year-old Logan Decker, his dream really did come true. He had always been a huge fan of the Terminator star, and Schwarzenegger was his idol. Actually getting to meet him in person, Logan was soon to have more than just a picture and an autograph from this celebrity-star ex-governor of California. He got to spend time with the man himself, driving in his awesome military vehicles and learning to maneuver a tank!
Logan was able to meet Schwarzenegger through the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which grants children with chronic diseases wishes to make their dreams come true. People with cystic fibrosis have issues with chronic infections and poor digestion, resulting in a life filled with hospital stays and nutrient deficiencies. Logan doesn't go a single day without the repercussions of his disease, and his 15 years enduring this lifelong condition have only made him stronger.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation has chosen Logan as their lucky recipient for a life-changing wish to be granted. This non-profit organization has dedicated its work to better the lives of children all over America who suffer from any life-threatening disease. With the support of thousands of donors and volunteers, the organization works really hard to make the dreams of these children possible. They’ve been able to grant wishes every 34 minutes - that's a lot of happy kids!
The Foundation was created based on the mission of granting every sick kid's wish to make their life better. If kids are feeling better, they might have a fighting chance to get better too. It's their mission to grant the wishes of every eligible kid in America, and last year, they granted over 15 thousand wishes to sick kids all over the country! Logan got to be one of these lucky kids as he met with his favorite actor to spend the day driving awesome tanks.
Logan's special day started off as a surprise
The day started off just like any other. When the limousine came to pick him up, Logan had no idea where he was going or who he was going to meet. The luxurious car ride took the young teen to a secret location, where the 70-year-old Terminator star finally revealed himself to Logan. Logan was taken aback by the sight of his idol in real life, and his face lit up as he reached out with a big hug to greet him.
Not only did Logan get to meet face-to-face with the actor, but he also got to drive his tank. He has his very own personal collection of military vehicles. So, when Logan arrived at the location, Schwarzenegger was ready to wow this teen's experience with a mind-blowing collection of military cars and tanks. He asked Logan, "Which one are you ready for?"
Logan dreams big. He picked out the huge military tank to drive around with Mr. Schwarzeneger himself. It's clearly the right choice as you see the two smiling faces in the vehicle as Schwarzenegger maneuvered the massive army vehicle down a dirt road. "This is an Austrian army tank that I drove when I was in the military," he shares with Logan.
Schwarzenegger's tank has a special history
Prior to getting the tank, it had been sitting for 8 years on display at the Motts Military Museum in Ohio. One day, Schwarzenegger decided that he wanted his tank bank, and he planned to help disadvantaged kids by giving them rides in it.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is an Austrian native, and he joined the military in 1965 as it was compulsory to do so at the time. He says that he hopes to use the tank as an incentive for kids to stay in school and stay off drugs. Apparently, he is always looking to help kids stay on track, using incentives like going to the movies to help keep kids motivated. Who knew this Terminator star was such a caring role model for kids everywhere?
Schwarzenegger lets Logan give the tank a try, too
Logan wasn't just a passenger that day; he got to play a little, too. Schwarzenegger patiently showed Logan how to operate the tank and maneuver it using the controls. It's not easy having the steering wheel to this enormous military monster! But Logan was ready for the challenge. They soon were off exploring the California woods as Logan practiced his driving skills. "You're driving good", Schwarzenegger told him. Logan beamed proudly in the light of Schwarzenegger's encouragement.
For Logan, the day was a day he will never forget. His mother was so happy to finally see her son smiling, seeming to forget all the health troubles he faces every day. It was worth it to just see her son simply happy, without a care in the world for just a few moments. These moments are rare for young Logan, suffering from a chronic disease that impacts his everyday life. "I thought that I was honestly going to cry," he shares, "It's definitely the best day of my life."
Making a kid smile just for one day can make a huge difference in their lives
Logan's story is an inspiring one for kids everywhere. No matter if you're sick or not, chasing your dreams is an important way to keep on living. It's important to remember what life's about, and the little things are what makes us happy and healthy too. For sick kids, it gets harder and harder to keep that positive outlook in life. Life-threatening diseases can cause a lot of pain and suffering, and it's no wonder that kids get discouraged. That's why Make-A-Wish has made such efforts to continue granting wishes for these children. By making their day at least once, happy memories are created to help them stay positive and fight back against their disease.