Wish child Brett and his family traveled to Baltimore from their home in Wappingers Falls, New York on Thursday. Brett started his day on Friday morning with a tour of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, under the impression that his family was being filmed for a special on ABC regarding the military. Brett’s grandfather served in the Navy and he passed away while Brett was going through chemo in March. (There is no ABC special, but to keep the surprise we had to give Brett some reason why he was being filmed).
Friday also happened to be Brett’s 16th birthday. At the end of the Naval Academy tour, the tour guide presented Brett with some gifts. The first package contained a Navy t-shirt, hat and other memorabilia. The second package, was a Travis Pastrana shirt with a note from Travis inviting Brett to spend the afternoon at his home. At that point, Brett knew the real purpose of their trip to Baltimore- to have his wish granted! We made a quick stop for lunch, before Brett and his family headed over to Travis Pastrana’s house about 20 minutes outside of Baltimore via limo. Brett was so excited- he was text messaging all of his friends to share the good news. He was also teasing us during lunch to “hurry up” so we could get to Travis’ house faster.
Finally, we had arrived.
As the limo driver pulled into Travis Pastrana’s driveway, Brett spotted Travis standing at the end of the drive. Brett leaped out of the car to greet him and the two shared a sincere hug- like they had been friends forever. Travis gave Brett a tour of his compound- the shop, a motocross course through the woods, foam pits, his home, pool area, training trampolines, and toys everywhere. Some highlights for Brett included climbing the rock wall in the shop and free falling into a foam pit, and also practicing with a bmx bike on a trampoline dug into the ground.
After the tour, Travis took Brett and his older brother Craig for a ride in his Subaru so they could do some burnouts in the driveway. Both boys emerged from the car with huge smiles on their faces. Brett enjoys riding quads and fixing them up in his freetime, so next Travis took Brett into the shop to get outfitted for a quad ride through the woods.
When they returned from their ride, Travis opened the foam pit next to the garage so one of his friends could demo a blackflip on a quad. Travis probably would’ve demonstrated it himself, except that he just had shoulder surgery 10 days earlier. Next, it was Brett’s turn. Not to backflip, but to ride the quad up the ramp and into the foam pit. Brett was a little nervous, but with a few minutes of coaching from Travis (hold on tight, keep the quad straight) and 2 practice runs, Brett landed safely into the huge cubes of foam and a crane helped fish the quad out after they were finished.
The day started to wind down, but there was one last surprise for Brett- birthday cake, of course. Travis Pastrana wrote “Happy Birthday Brett” in green icing and carried the cake over to him with his family singing “Happy Birthday”. As Brett started slicing the cake and passing it out to everyone, Travis came out of nowhere to smear cake all over Brett’s face (which Brett found hilarious). Everyone said their goodbyes and Travis presented Brett with some gifts including a new pair of DC shoes, a Nitro Circus DVD, a poster and of course plenty of autographs.
During the car ride back to the hotel, the family talked about what a memorable day it had been. Brett’s mom, Donna, expressed her hope that Brett’s wish being televised will give other kids battling their illnesses hope. She also hopes it will bring awareness to childhood cancer (Brett’s illness is Rhabdomyosarcoma) as well as increased awareness of other life-threatening medical conditions featured in the series.