December 21, 2020

Patient uses Make-A-Wish for cancer research fundraiser

Madison, Wis. — Lucas Nelson was diagnosed with large B-cell Leukemia when he was just 13 years old. Soon after his diagnosis, he and his family moved to Marshall, Wis., and continued his treatment at American Family Children's Hospital.

Make-A-Wish reached out to Lucas and his family to grant a wish for him as a pediatric cancer patient. Lucas didn't know what he wanted at first but knew he didn't want a vacation or a bike.

Ultimately, Lucas decided he wanted to give back. So, Make-A-Wish helped him create a fundraiser to raise money for children’s cancer research to support the work happening in Madison at American Family Children's Hospital and UW Carbone Cancer Center.

Make-A-Wish connected the family with an organization that specializes in raising funds by selling clothing and other items. For the fundraiser, Lucas and his dad designed a t-shirt and hat that display the word "survivor" in six languages (English, Japanese, Hebrew, Norwegian, German and Scottish Gaelic) that are connected to the family's heritage.

"I wanted to create something that reflected how many people like me have had to focus on surviving day after day. Because that is what we're doing, we’re surviving," Lucas Nelson said.

Lucas is currently receiving care to maintain remission, which is great news for someone at the beginning of their high school career.

Their goal is to raise $5,000, and anyone interested in donating or purchasing a hat or t-shirt this holiday season can visit