It’s not easy being a genuine Master Junior Gardener. Just look at everything Lucas had on his schedule: entering up to 90 projects for the 4-H Club at the county fair … selling plants at a farmers market … even getting advice from a university plant pathologist. His devotion to gardening blossomed into a wish and unlocked possibilities for his future.
In 2009, Make-A-Wish® Wisconsin granted Lucas’ wish to have a greenhouse. Today, his wish is still a perfect reflection of his interests, his skills and his enthusiasm. He has a greenhouse full of plants and new seedlings that will become pumpkins, gourds, tomatoes, onions, peppers and an array of other vegetables.
“I want to expand from my greenhouse someday into a nursery so I can always have something to do with plants and even make a business out of it,” Lucas says.
Lucas is optimistic today, but he faced obstacles to once again look forward to the future. In 2008, a pain in his leg started his battle with cancer. At first, everyone thought it was growing pains or a pulled muscle, but it just kept getting worse. He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his left thighbone close to his knee. First came a round of chemo and then surgery that removed his knee and turned his remaining leg 180 degrees, making his heel his new knee. He said he didn’t care what his leg looked like, “just make it work the best it could.” After surgery, Lucas got around on crutches while his leg bones mended and he waited to for his new prosthetic leg.
Help from local families got Lucas’ wish started. They built a 12 by 24-foot greenhouse where Lucas now spends hours pouring over catalogues deciding what seeds he is going to order. He sells his plants and vegetables at the local farmer’s market as well as at a roadside stand at the end of his driveway.
“It’s been good for him,” says his dad, Tom. “Boys his age are out playing football and baseball and he can’t do those things. But this has given him something he can do and enjoy for a long, long time.”