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Make-A-Wish gives Butts a send-off


Brandon L. Summers

Brayden Butts, second from right, suffering from neurofibromatosis, has been granted a wish by the Nebraska Make-A-Wish Foundation to visit Disney World. Monday, he was cheered on by parents Michael and Mindy Butts, on either side of him, and sisters Myrranda and Melody Butts at a family send-off party.

Brayden Butts, age 6, suffers from neurofibromatosis.

To brighten this time of difficulty for Brayden and his family, Nebraska Make-A-Wish Foundation is granting Brayden's wish to "go to Mickey Mouse's house."

A send-off party was held at Sidney Elks Lodge Monday for the Butts family, with more than 20 family members attending.

Brayden and his family will be going to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and stay at Give Kids the World Village.

The family was connected to Make-A-Wish via referral, Sally Harris, Sidney Wish-Granter, said.

"It's just to see the joy on somebody's face when they've been so sick and their family has been so worried about taking care of them," Harris said. "If we can give them a day or a week for a trip for whatever they wish for, it shows in their faces."

Michael Butts, Brayden's father, said it was difficult for the family to learn of Brayden's illness.

"It was a lot to grasp," he said. "There was a lot of information all at once, especially because we had never heard of neurofibromatosis. It's kind of a world changing experience that we've had."

Brayden took the information well, Butts said.

"Just looking at him, watching him play, he's perfectly normal," he said. "He's one of the most happy-go-lucky kids I've ever met in my life, which is fantastic."

Brayden currently has tumors on both of his optic nerves, stemming from the back of the eyeball to the brain.

"He's a type one," Butts said. "He has the possibility of growing tumors anywhere on his body at any given time. This is something he'll continue to monitor throughout the rest of his life."

With treatment, Brayden has begun to recover.

"This last year of chemo therapy has actually stunted the growth," Butts said. "Luckily, we've been able to have a three month period off of chemo."

Having Brayden's wish granted has been "one of the greatest things ever," Butts said.

"Brayden is absolutely in love with all the Disney characters. He's been really excited to go," he said. "It's going to be great for him. It's a blessing that he gets to go on this trip."


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