John Deere and Make-A-Wish grant cancer survivor Westin Wilson’s 12-year-old wish

Westin Wilson, 12, of Arizona, has already overcome many obstacles in his life. On Thursday, John Deere and Make-A-Wish worked together to make his dream of visiting John Deere facilities in the Quad Cities come true.

“I don’t know who’s more excited. He just sees it or we see how he reacts to it,” said Dustin Wilson, Westin’s father. “When we were walking down the alley and he saw acres of green harvesters, he was just over the moon. I get goosebumps when I think about his reaction to it. There was nothing this kid wanted more than green tractors.”

In 2019, Westin Wilson was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumor, a form of kidney cancer.

“The world has stopped. Totally stopped,” Wilson said. “We didn’t know what to think. We’ve experienced other things through family members who have died and had other diseases, but if it happened so close to home, and until we get more information, you just fall apart right away.”

Westin’s parents said Westin had weekly chemotherapy treatments.

“Our world stopped for about a year,” said Shelby Wilson, Westin’s mother.

In keeping with Westin’s wish, he got a tour of the John Deere Harvester Works, pushed a button to start the new laser system, and received a special laser-cut sign.

“I know he had been waiting over two years for this wish to come true, and the fact that it came true today is amazing. All the employees today were just happy to see him here and show him what they do,” said Pam Lohman, John Deere internal control analyst.

“We hope that Westin’s wish will really change his life and impact him for life, and something that can continue to let him know that he can hope, dream and look forward to something,” Janet said. Bunz Glavin, senior manager of community engagement for Make-A-Wish Illinois. “It really captured his imagination, and it’s a desire engine.”

“We’re immensely grateful. I don’t know if we can ever really thank [John Deere and Make-A-Wish] as much as we would like,” Shelby Wilson said.

Westin is in remission. He said he wants to own a John Deere 730 tractor one day, just like his grandfather. Westin is scheduled to tour John Deere headquarters on Friday, and the John Deere team has also scheduled a trip to the River Bandits game.

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