CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — 14-year-old Ethan Miller of Caledonia, Mich. took off for the trip of a lifetime Sunday, all thanks to one local business and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan.
Sponsored in part by the Greenridge Reality Dream Team Foundation, Ethan and his family took off from the Gerald R. Ford International Airport early Sunday morning headed to Hawaii for a week long vacation, a much needed break from his daily fight with acute lymphoblastic leukemia that began about two years ago.
“People who aren’t in this situation have no idea the day-to-day stresses and craziness you go through when your child is diagnosed with a life threatening illness," said Barbara Miller, Ethan's mother.
Ethan, the self-described warrior, has been taking his diagnosis in stride, remaining positive and even creating a Facebook page 'Ethan Wiley's Warriors' to document his experience as he makes his way through treatment.
According to his mother, the 14-year-old loves to travel and if it was up to him he would've been to just about everywhere by now. For this trip, the family figured some place warm and tropical would be a pretty good bet.
“It’s kind of a nice break for us to hopefully get away and not think about all the treatment, and not think about cancer and not think about anything else but just have fun so we’re really looking forward to it," Barbara said.
The trip itself has been in the works for months, Barbara says she and Ethan had been talking about planning a getaway after he was finished with his chemo treatments.
But, "Ethan isn't the most patient person in the world," according to his mother, and so the tropical trip became a reality a little more quickly than originally anticipated—complete with a limo ride to the airport.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan also recently sent Ethan and his family to a West Michigan White Caps game where he got to throw out the first pitch.
This year marks 30 years Make-A-Wish Michigan has been granting wishes for kids like Ethan. Since 1984, the foundation has granted more than 7,000 wishes to children across Michigan dealing with life-threatening medical conditions.