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Jags community joins Make-A-Wish to celebrate fulfillment of local boy’s wish


Jessica Watts

ANTHEM – Spirit and kindness is still alive and well in Anthem, and the Friday, Sept. 11 football game was an especially happy one, despite the Boulder Creek High School 54-3 loss on Friday night against Mountain Pointe High School. At halftime, the Boulder Creek Jaguars had still yet to score, but the Jaguars and the community of Anthem came together to make a wish come true.

The Jaguars welcomed 9-year-old Aidan Hanson, an Anthem resident, to the field for halftime. He and his family watched and listened as the band, cheerleaders, and pom team played and danced to some of his favorite Disney songs. On Sept. 15, 2014, Aidan was diagnosed with multiple medical conditions, including atypical cystic fibrosis. Melissa Stevens from the Make-A-Wish Foundation joined Aidan and his family during the halftime show. Once the band finished playing, Aidan was escorted out to center field, where his one true wish to visit Disney World was granted. The fans who came out to Friday’s game helped Aidan celebrate his trip by dressing up as their favorite Disney characters.

Jessica McMillen, the mother of Aidan, described this experience as “Incredible and have no words for it. It’s amazing.”  

Stevens is a Wish Granter for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and set out to make this a community event to support Aidan and his family. Stevens reached out to the community of Anthem and Boulder Creek, and “Everyone got involved, whether it’s the football team, the cheer team, the pom team, the assistant principal, who I met with multiple times, and they just coordinated with each other to try to figure out exactly how we can coordinate this, so it is a surprise for him.”

Aidan is not able to go to school and is in the hospital at least once a month, usually for two weeks at a time, according to McMillen.

McMillen says, “It’s tough, especially with my other son starting school, because I have to be with Aidan and my other son is up with my parents so I don’t get to see him as often as I would like to. It’s definitely tough.”

Aidan will leave for Disney World in two weeks after he heads to Boston next week for some testing on his motility issues.

The game definitely had its highlights. Seniors Tucker Hartmann and Blake Labno both had some great plays for the Jaguars, including a fumble during a kickoff return. Even though the game did not end up the way the Jaguars would have liked, everyone left with a smile on their face knowing they helped someone win today.