Make-A-Wish sends Ohio teen, family to Rio for gold-medal basketball game

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – An Ohio is going to the Olympics. Make-A-Wish is sending a Buckeye Valley senior who has cystic fibrosis to Brazil. And, that’s not all.

Nick Roden, 17, got to throw out the first pitch at the Columbus Clippers game Wednesday night. In two weeks he’ll be on a plane for Rio for an all-expenses paid trip to the Olympics.

“It’s unreal. It didn’t seem like it was possible. I didn’t think I would ever be able to go, but Make-A-Wish made it happen,” Roden said.

Nick will be in Rio to see the gold medal basketball game, but the trip is about more than just sports… it’s about making the most out of life.

“I probably do an hour’s worth of treatments, take 30-plus pills a day,” Nick said.

The Delaware teen was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a fatal genetic lung disease, as a baby. Thick build-up of mucus causes severe damage to the lungs and digestive system. His parents said there were times when they didn’t know if he would pull through.

“He deserves it. There’s been a lot of trials in his life and he’s got a lot more ahead. And, so it’s really cool to see him embrace this,” said Nick’s mom Terri.

His brother P.J. cherishes every moment they have together.

“He’s my inspiration every single day to push. If he can go through these obstacles, then I can make it through mine,” said P.J. Roden.

Despite the disease that makes it hard to breathe, Nick’s an athlete. A high school basketball player, he said he’s hoping for one autograph in particular in Rio.

“Probably Kyrie Irving,” he said.

A prescription for fun–the best kind of medicine.

Make-A-Wish is sending Nick’s entire family to Rio. That includes his brother, sister and parents. They leave on the 16th.

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