SELAH, Wash.-- We're collecting airline miles as part of our "Wishes in Flight" telethon for the Make A Wish Foundation.
All those miles donated will help local kids with life changing illnesses go on their dream vacation.
We got a chance to speak to one of those kids, a boy from Selah named Jackson Nettleship.
Jackson was always active in sports; able to compete against kids two years older than him in golf. However, in summer 2011 his parents saw him getting tired and took him to the doctor. After a number of medical tests, they learned he had leukemia.
"To say that we were scared and like ‘wow' was an understatement," said Reidar, Jackson's Father.
"Didn't know much what it was, didn't know what leukemia was... But I found out it was cancer," Jackson told us.
"I think the worst part was driving over to Seattle. On the way there just... It was dead silent," said Jackson's older brother Kaelan.
Jackson was forced to endure months of chemotherapies and treatments and needed a bone marrow transplant from his sister. His type of leukemia had a low survival rate.
"We'd lay in bed and play imaginary games of golf. The days are long... The days are long," Jackson's dad told us.
"Just trying to lighten the mood, trying to brighten his day," added Jackson's older brother.
As his treatment progressed Jackson saw some light at the end of the tunnel. His family got in contact with the Make A Wish Foundation. Jackson was able to plan a trip to Bandon Dunes, a renowned golf course in Oregon, and play against his grandfather. And not only that, but he actually got to play a game against Geoff Ogilvy. He's the winner of the 2006 US Open.
"It was super weird... Not many people do that, are able to play with a pro golfer," Jackson told us.
He's now cancer-free and back playing sports. He and his family say that trip by the Make A Wish Foundation made a huge difference.
"Give you something to wish about... Best medicine you could give to anybody," says Jackson's Father.
"I think it... It was hope. That's what Make-A-Wish is. It's hope," his older brother told us.
"I'm really thankful that I'm alive and will live the rest of my life being happy," Jackson said.
Not only did Jackson get to play with a pro at Bandon Dunes, he also got a signed masters flag from Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer who have won 27 major championships between them.
So remember, all the miles you donate to "Wishes in Flight" go to help kids like Jackson.
We're taking donations until 6:30 Thursday night. To donate, call (509) 737-6705 if you live in the Tri-Cities or (509) 225-2380 if you live in Yakima.
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