Young cancer survivor uses Make-A-Wish wish to give back to other sick kids
A Westfield teen is taking Giving Tuesday to a whole new level.
Mason Rockmore, a 16-year-old cancer survivor, is paying it forward by giving away his wish from Make-A-Wish New Jersey to other sick children.
CEO Tom Weatherall says that most kids who receive a wish ask for gifts, trips or to meet someone famous. But he says that occasionally, a child wishes to give back.
Mason asked Make-A-Wish for gaming consoles, iPads and other electronics – items that he is donating to Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health.
“I got a bunch of electronics so the kids on the inpatient floor would not be super bored,” he says.
Mason was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer in February 2020. He spent 10 months in and out of the hospital during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was frightening for his parents, but also kind of boring for the teen. He used gaming and streaming devices to get through the treatments and the long and sometimes scary days.
“He learned skills about how to distract himself and saw how important it was to distract oneself,” says Lori Rockmore, Mason’s mother. “And if he could help other kids distract themselves, that was in his mind.”
This is why Mason decided to use his wish to help others. He says that many other kids still battling cancer and other illnesses do not have access to the technology that he did during his time in the hospital.
“I was thinking of a bunch of wishes and one came up in my head – why not just give back? And that’s what I did,” Mason says.
“We experienced a lot of generosity here at the hospital as well, and we are happy and proud Mason wanted to pay that forward,” says Eric Rockmore, Mason’s father.
There are a lot of people who are proud of Mason and thankful for his kind wish – which was granted on Giving Tuesday.
Weatherall says Mason is an inspiration.
“Mason chose a wish to give, give back and on this day of Giving Tuesday, we are so grateful,” the CEO says.
Mason and Make-A-Wish also donated streaming services to go along with the devices and consoles.