Family from Enterprise credits Make-A-Wish for impact on son's life
Bryce Caldwell was like any other kindergartener in Enterprise until the doctor said the words, “No known cure”, “life expectancy”, “6 months”
"When you hear something like that, you feel helpless, there's nothing you can do but comfort your child and you can't make it go away and it just kills you inside," said Jeremy Caldwell, Bryce's dad.
Bryce was diagnosed with DIPG, an inoperable brain stem tumor.
"As a parent you lose the possibility of watching your child grow up and have their dreams come true," said Suzanne Caldwell, Bryce’s mother.
That’s where Make-A-Wish Alabama comes in - they made sure at least one of Bryce’s biggest dreams come true, playing with the Denver Broncos.
"When he was getting treatment he would watch the game over and over again on YouTube," said Suzanne.
He toured the field, met the players and signed a contract as a Denver Broncos teammate.
"He took that seriously, he thought he was really becoming a player of the Denver Broncos, and I know it was something that made him feel invincible," said Suzanne.
Bryce's family had played pick up football in their yard for years but that day in June, they all got to bring it on under the big lights.
"It enabled us to come back together after all of those issues all of those hard times and be a family and be happy," said Jeremy.
It’s been two years since that memorable game. He would have been 8 years old now. Though they miss him every day the Caldwells are grateful there are happy times to remember.
"We will just be talking having a normal day and someone will bring up a memory we had on his wish trip, remember when we were in the limo taking funny pictures, remember every morning going up in the hotel and the staff treated us like royalty and the chef would make chocolate chip pancakes for the kids," said Jeremy, "What they provided for us and for Bryce really impacted our lives."
Jeremy and Suzanne even credit Bryce’s wish with extending his life an additional 6 months past his prognosis. Since Bryce’s passing the Caldwells have continued to stay active with the organization even earning a national honor last November.