Issue link: http://digital.turn-page.com/i/565151
Learn more about Andrew's journey at www.iiaofil.org/trustedchoice.aspx Andrew is the son of Erin & Matt Langlois. Matt, of Langlois Insurance Agency in New Lenox, has served on IIA of IL Committees for a number of years. Next month, he will be joining the IIA of IL Board of Directors. Andrew first got sick in Sept. 2011 when he was just 21 months old. It took five months, numerous tests (spinal tap, skeletal survey, multiple ultrasounds, etc.) countless doctors, (Oncologist, Neurologist, Immunologist, Endocrinologist, Infectious Diseases, Ophthalmologist, Dermatologist) and a brain biopsy before he was finally diagnosed with Central Nervous System (CNS) Histiocytosis, a diagnosis shared by only a few hundred people in the world. Andrew had a port installed in January 2012 and had chemotherapy from January through August 2012. The treatments were successful and he has had no relapses. Andrew's family had not thought about looking into Make-A-Wish. Although Andrew was very sick, they didn't think he was sick enough. But, the chemo nurses told them that under the Make-A-Wish criteria, Andrew would qualify. A wish is actually not just about the child but also about the family. The entire family is affected by the disease, enduring enormous stress and disruption during the diagnostic and treatment process. So a Wish typically focuses around the whole family. At the time, Andrew was really into Mickey Mouse so he decided on a Disney Cruise. According to Matt, everything was first class. "We were driven to and from the airport in a limo and were escorted through security so we didn't have to wait in line. We were first on the plane, and a private car took us to the cruise ship," Matt said. "There were lots of goodies for us in our cabin throughout the trip. Best of all we got a private meeting and photos with Mickey and the captain. And Make-A-Wish made sure that all the activities, souvenirs and tips were paid for. Through just dumb luck, Andrew got to go on stage during the magic show and stole the show. He was quite the comedian. After that, he was a little celebrity on the ship. People recognized him everywhere. As an extra bonus, Andrew and I ran into the captain one day on deck and he escorted us up to the bridge where the crew steers and controls the ship. Andrew got to sit in the captain's chair. Overall, it was just a fantastic trip. Make-A-Wish, along with Disney, went out of their way to make it extra special." The trip provided a much needed respite for Andrew and his family. "He's in a good spot now," Matt said, "but it was a real grind for about two years with him getting chemo and being in and out of the hospital, so the trip came at a great time. I almost felt that it was a sort of celebration in terms of how far we had come and how well he was doing." ANDREW'S STORY has donated more than $2 million to help grant wishes. Join the Trusted Choice Walk for Wishes Team.