His passion for gaming in the world of Minecraft led 12-year-old Ethan to London, England to attend Minecon 2015 this past the summer.
Diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis 6 months after he turned 1, Ethan would have to live a more cautious life in an effort to remain healthy. Despite the seriousness of his condition, Ethan always looks forward to playing his favorite game – Minecraft.
Not too many children back home could understand what he was going through, but 7,000 miles away in London, England, new friendships awaited. It was already a dream come true for Ethan to go to a convention based around his all-time favorite game, but meeting like-minded kids who shared the same interests and passions and who also understood the challenges of living with a health condition, was another reward in itself.
Minecon 2015 was filled with awesome guest speakers and amazing fire and light performances! Ethan even got to meet a lot of his Minecraft heroes and get their autographs. But the best and most memorable part for Ethan was during downtime, when he bonded with other wish kids, and even those who had CF like him. "The best part was meeting all the other kids from the Make-A-Wish Foundation that had [health] conditions too" said Ethan.
"It was great to see them playing together as regular kids" said David, Ethan’s father.
Of all the wish kids at the convention, Ethan hung out the most with wish kid Jackson. They played with the various Minecraft items and pretended to be different characters within its world. They played at the Minecraft game stations, and even went sightseeing together to the London Towers.
He even made friends outside of the Make-A-Wish group, befriending a boy named Conner and his brother who were staying at the same hotel as he and his family. A few months after his wish and Ethan and Conner still connect through their favorite game from time to time.
"Now we can all play together and have fun," said Ethan.
Meeting kids like him brought Ethan a sense of normalcy. It made him realize that there are kids out there who understand what he’s going through and can relate to his struggles as well as his passions. Going to London and seeing all the awesome Minecraft games and gamers was an amazing gift, but the best gift in Ethan's wish was one of hope and friendship.