In October 2012, 14-year-old Kzon was injured while playing at a friend’s house when a gardening tool hit his left leg, slightly above the knee. Just a week later, his leg was swollen, and after a visit to the ER the diagnosis was clear: Osteosarcoma.
Growing up in Dunn, NC, Kzon was drawn to race cars, a love that he shares with his dad, Kenny. The youngest of four, Kzon likes classic cars and spending time at the track. As he gets older, the 10th grader at Triton High School plans to go to college and learn how to fix cars.
In October 2012, 14-year-old Kzon was injured while playing at a friend’s house when a gardening tool hit his left leg, slightly above the knee. There was not any swelling, but it did cause a little soreness that continued for over a month. Doctors originally diagnosed the soreness as a tendon tear, advised him to take Ibuprofen, apply hot/cold pads and return in three to four weeks. Just a week later, his leg was swollen. Kzon went to the ER at a local hospital, and the diagnosis was clear. Osteosarcoma, a form of cancer that is the sixth-leading cancer in children under age 15, had been detected. Kzon was sent immediately by ambulance to UNC Children’s Hospital. Chemotherapy began within a week, and surgery was scheduled two months later. During surgery, Kzon’s femur was removed and replaced with a metal rod.
Chemotherapy resumed for a period of three months, and it was during this time that Kzon and his family met with Make-A-Wish®
Eastern North Carolina volunteer wish granters Patrick Curran and Elizabeth Godwin to discuss the wish process and ultimately determine his wish.
“I wanted something to take to the race track,” said Kzon when describing his wish to have a customized golf cart. “Something that would last forever.”
Keeping up with the progress of the wish and thinking about the ways to customize the golf cart helped him endure the tough times of treatment. One of the personal touches that he requested was having the doctors and nurses from his medical team at UNC Children’s Hospital sign their names on the cart – a permanent reminder of his tremendous support team.
“He wanted to show how much he appreciated them,” said Kzon’s mother, Tina. “They did an awesome job and were so kind. Even now, when we go for his checkups, he wants to stop by 5 (5th floor, UNC Children’s Hospital) before he leaves to see everyone.”
Kzon’s wish was made possible with the help of Mike Bartholomew, owner of Cart Company in Rolesville, NC. The result was a painted Carolina Blue golf cart featuring a high-torque motor, customized with lift kit, custom aluminum 12” wheels and an in-dash radio/CD player.
Kzon saw the finished golf cart for the first time at his wish delivery. As his wish was unveiled, the grateful teenage was speechless and overcome with emotion, clasping his hands to his face.
“The weight of the world had lifted,” Kzon stated when remembering the moment when the blue tarp was lifted from the golf cart. “You’re done. You don’t have to worry anymore. I was in total amazement. It was so much more than I thought it was going to be. It was amazing. No words can describe how special that moment was.”
Kzon received his golf cart in front of a group of family, friends, doctors, nurses and other team members from UNC Children’s Hospital and volunteers and staff from Make-A-Wish.
“His reaction; that was the best,” recalled Tina of the emotional wish delivery. “To see him go through everything over the last year, it brought it full circle. It meant everything to me because it was something that he wanted.”