Make-a-Wish Foundation celebrates Stillman Valley teen battling cancer

17-year-old Ruger Taylor said the event follows his last rounds of treatment
Published: Apr. 24, 2021 at 8:40 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A wish becomes reality for one Stillman Valley teen, as he celebrates the end of a long battle with cancer.

Make-a-Wish volunteers, first responders, veterans and biker groups filled the Kegel Harley Davidson lot in Rockford Saturday morning to celebrate 17-year-old Ruger Taylor.

“When I woke up this morning I wasn’t expecting to come to all this,” said Taylor. “But it’s a pretty pleasant surprise.”

Taylor said the Make-a-Wish Foundation turned his dream for a shopping spree into reality.

“I’m getting like, furniture, a TV stand, maybe a new TV, a recliner, a little table to go next to it,” said Taylor.

Taylor was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last fall, undergoing several chemotherapy and radiation sessions. He said the granted wish comes after his last rounds of treatment. His condition is one of more than 150 illnesses qualifying a kid for Make-a-Wish.

“We try to bring hope to them, the more we get to know them,” said event organizer, Sue Heng.

To make this moment even more special for Taylor, event organizer Sue Heng surprised him with a veteran presentation, a parade of motorcyclists and an escort with first responders.

“We know Ruger likes all things military, so that’s what the military thing is all about today,” Heng said.

“I would love to join the marines or the army, really any branch, I’m thinking,” said Taylor. “I’m probably more comfortable with army.”

Hegen said she’s grateful to celebrate the beginning of Taylor’s remission.

“I don’t even know how to explain the feeling. I really just hope it makes Ruger’s day,” said Heng.

Biker groups and first responders escorted Taylor to his first shopping spree at Gustafson’s Furniture in Rockford. Then Taylor shopped at Best Buy and Target for items to update his gaming collection, followed by lunch at Olive Garden.

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