7-year-old farm kid gifts his Make-A-Wish to help teach about farm life and uplift other sick kids

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — From Disney vacations to meeting celebrities or big ticket gifts, Make-A-Wish is known for gifting amazing wishes to kids dealing with major medical issues. But Thursday on World Wish Day, a South Dakota 7-year-old chose to use his wish to help lift the spirits of hundreds of other kids who visit Avera Specialty Pediatrics in Sioux Falls.

“Those are the babies over there, you see them?” Koen said during a tour of his farm.

Koen is passionate about his farm in central South Dakota.

“I just say moo and the cows come to me,” Koen said.

But helping out on the farm isn’t always safe for Koen.

“If he’s in the field with him he has an emergency backpack with all of his lifesaving medications in it,” Koen’s mom Shanda said.

“I have a mask so mom can breathe for me in this pocket and I have my inhaler, my EpiPen and another shot here,” Koen said.

Koen has an airway disease that means constant treatments and doctors visits.

“When I was driving home from my monthly injection, I thought of something, because I was tired and my arm was kind of hurting, and I thought, I want to get kids their minds off it and I want them to feel better,” Koen said.

Koen’s wish transformed the waiting room at Avera Specialty Pediatrics into his own farm kingdom. Koen got to see his wish in person for the very first time Thursday. It includes an interactive monitor with videos of Koen teaching kids about life on the farm.

“For the last year Koen has gotten to be a part of this and its brought him so much hope,” Shanda said.

From the black cows, to his family dog and the red tractor, Koen helped design every aspect of the new interactive waiting room.

“They also get a coloring book,” Koen said.

His wish also includes his own coloring and activity book that will be given to every child during their clinic appointment and every child gets to leave the doctors office with their own tractor.

“So Koen, we’ve got a little surprise over here for ya,” the general manager of the Sioux Falls Tractor Supply Company said.

The toys are donated by the Tractor Supply Company, who surprised Koen with his own gift, small thank you for this special young man who chose to use his gift to help spread some joy to hundreds of other kids.

“Its not just for him, its for all of the kids, so thank you everyone for being a part of it,” Shanda said.

This special wish was made possible by dozens of donors working together to help make Koen’s farm vision a reality, they were all there to celebrate with Koen this afternoon.

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