Young Nebraska basketball fan battling cancer receives a Magic Moment
Christmas came early for the Waite family Tuesday morning.
Over the summer, their 12–year–old son, Christian, went to the doctor after pain in his shoulder prevented him from playing baseball.
An MRI revealed a mass on his chest that was eroding into his bone.
Christian was soon diagnosed with stage four Angiosarcoma, a very uncommon cancer that's especially rare for children.
After a difficult few months, being the recipients of a Magic Moment, sponsored by Union Bank, is just what the family needed.
"Unbelievable, this was more than a Christmas surprise. To watch their faces light up and just seeing concern and the stress of everything melt away for them, just unbelievable, what an incredible gift," said Nathan Waite, Christian's father.
Following Christian's diagnoses, the family has made countless trips to the Omaha Children's Hospital for chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Christian has been unable to play sports or attend school, but his friends have continued to be there for him.
"Thankfully for Fortnite and online gaming, he has remained connected with his buddies, with everyone socially, but yeah he misses seeing everybody in the hallway and making that transition from elementary school to middle school," said Ann Waite, Christian's mother.
As part of Tuesday's Magic Moment, Christian received a special sports themed gift.
"I get to tour the basketball facilities, spend personal time with coach Tim Miles and attend a men's basketball practice," said Christian Waite.
During difficult stretches in the hospital following chemo treatments, Christian has followed the huskers hoops season closely.
"He loves college basketball. When we are in the hospital, that's his distraction, turning the game on and just trying to forget about the nausea or whatever he's faced with and he loves going to watch the huskers," said Nathan Waite.
As part of the special day, the Waite family received movie passes, a membership to the Lincoln Children's Zoo and Museum, as well as gas cards to help with the cost of driving to Omaha regularly.
Family members say Christian's spirit and strength have helped the family of seven through it all.
He always seems to have a smile on his face.
"I'm really proud of him and I love him. He's an amazing kid," said Nathan Waite.
"It was amazing, it was what I needed. I am just overjoyed to see how generous and all the kind things everyone has done for me," said Christian Waite.
Christian is set to finish out his last round of chemo this Thursday.
After that he will go in for a new set of scans in January.