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Nathan's wish comes true

Nathan McKean, a 3-year-old cancer patient, held by his dad, Mike, in front of a CKFR fire engine, checks out his new gifts courtesy of CKFR on Tuesday. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Nathan McKean, a 3-year-old cancer patient, held by his dad, Mike, in front of a CKFR fire engine, checks out his new gifts courtesy of CKFR on Tuesday.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Three-year-old Nathan McKean of Silverdale was first diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system that commonly occurs in young children, in January and on Tuesday Make-A-Wish Foundation along with several other agencies including Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue helped to make his ultimate wish come true.

Since January, Nathan has undergone numerous cycles of chemotherapy, two surgeries including a 12-hour procedure to remove tumors in his stomach and a stem cell transplant.

“He is doing as good as can be expected, he was real sick for a long time, but has done great and is so amazing,” said Nathan’s mother Abra.

She said that since the treatment there is no evidence of any malignant cells, but the chances of Nathan not relapsing is a mere 9 percent.

McKean’s parents, Abra and Mike, originally wanted to take Nathan and the family to Disney World as Nathan’s wish because he really likes the Disney characters, but due to his condition they decided that wouldn’t be the best idea.

Instead, Make-A-Wish Foundation remodeled the family’s daylight basement into a playroom for Nathan, complete with painted Disney characters on the walls, courtesy of painter Pam Heinrich. The carpet and drywall was provided by Home Depot of Silverdale with labor provided by SD Deacon, also of Silverdale. A new TV and DVDs were provided by Best Buy in Silverdale.

It took Heinrich about 45 hours to complete the paintings of the Disney characters and said, “It’s great when people have talents and they can come and fill a need, kind of what Make-A-Wish does.”

Nathan also is very fond of fire engines and on Tuesday, before he was introduced to his brand new playroom for the very first time, he received a visit from CKFR.

Held by his mom, he and family members watched as a fire engine and two ambulances rounded the corner with emergency lights flaring and parked in front of his house for an up-close view the vehicles. A smile never left Nathan’s face as he was placed in the passenger seat of the fire engine and given his very own firefighter helmet.

“We’re happy to do this, it’s a good opportunity to give something back to the community,” said Ken Burdette, CKFR fire chief. “We wish the best for Nathan and his family.”

Before ending his visit with CKFR firefighters and fire vehicles, CKFR provided him with a box of goodies including a toy fire engine, a teddy bear wearing a plastic fire helmet, small Sparky stuffed-animal dogs, coloring books, crayons, pens and pencils, smoke alarms for the new playroom and T-shirts and sweatshirts

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