Teen’s wish granted for trip to New Zealand

A 16-year-old Abbotsford resident will jet off to New Zealand on Nov. 11 after having his dream granted from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Austin Bilodeau

A 16-year-old Abbotsford resident will jet off to New Zealand on Nov. 11 after having his dream granted from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Austin Bilodeau, who was diagnosed with soft-tissue cancer in September 2009, chose to travel to New Zealand after watching a TV show called “Departures” during chemotherapy.

Austin is hoping to go “zorbing” in a giant inflatable ball, tour a volcano, visit Glow Worm Caves and perhaps try blackwater rafting. He also hopes to visit his oncologist, Dr. Prestige, who recently returned home to New Zealand.

Austin was an avid soccer player whose groin was injured by a flying soccer ball in the summer of 2009.

Thinking that his resulting soreness would eventually go away, he enrolled in winter soccer. When it became apparent that his injury was getting worse, Austin was referred to a specialist who initially thought he had testicular cancer.

After more testing, doctors eventually confirmed rhabdomyosarcoma (soft-tissue cancer). Treatment involved multiple surgeries and six months of chemotherapy that concluded on March 29, 2010.

“Once a week for six months we drove into Vancouver from Abbotsford for his chemotherapy,” said his mother Bonnie. “It was a pretty difficult time.”

The Make-A-Wish Foundation has made more than 1,400 wishes come true for kids battling a life-threatening medical condition. For more information, visit makeawishbc.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Highway 1 to look like winter war zone until owners retrieve wrecked vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

UFV food expert presents new book, Lost Feast

Dr. Lenore Newman reads from latest publication on Tuesday, Jan. 21

Suspected car thief bean-bagged by Abbotsford police for resisting arrest

‘It doesn’t break the skin usually, but it hurts so much you might as well be shot’

CHARTS: Home-building down in 2019 in Abbotsford, but still historically high

2019 saw construction wrap up on 1,000 homes, the second-highest total on record

5 to 10 cm of snow still coming to Fraser Valley: Environment Canada

Hard to say when the freezing rain will turn to regular rainfall, Environment Canada says

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Fraser Valley motorist drives up vehicle ramp and onto parked trailer on Chilliwack road

The incident happened after Chilliwack was handed another dump of snow Friday night

Most Read