Trey Hickey

Among all of our amazing experiences in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games, there was one special experience which will leave a lasting print on our hearts. We could not believe this…

The Amazing Story

From the perspective of my wife, Laura: The 2008 Olympic Games were over. We were flying back to the States. A.G. & I flew back to the US on different flights despite our arrivals into Ohio at the same time. While I was in the Beijing airport waiting to step onto the plane, I overheard some of our new vacation friends talking to another family behind me. The conversation started because both families have little boys named Trey. This American family indicated they came to Beijing to watch the Olympics and when asked about which event(s) they saw, the mother indicated their interest was to watch the men’s hammer throw! Our friends asked if they had ever heard of A.G. Kruger and the mother says ‘oh yes, we were watching him.’ So of course, this catches my attention! I turn around to look behind me and our friends point out that ‘A.G.’s wife and mother are in front of you in line.’  This mother and I catch each other’s attention and introduce ourselves. She was a wonderful, down-to-earth woman standing in line with her husband and 2 children.

After we continue conversation about the Beijing Olympics, I ask about their interest in the men’s hammer throw and she tells me something I didn’t expect- “My son was granted
His Wish. The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted his wish to go to the Beijing Olympics and watch the men’s hammer throw.” Are.You.Serious. Oh yes, I am speechless. I almost didn’t know what to say (if you know me at all, this is rare). This little boy must be one of the cutest, sweetest little boys I have ever seen.  She continues, “We watched A.G. and even tried to meet him, but it didn’t work out.” Again, speechless. Of all times, how could A.G. & I be on different flights?!?!

With a large plane and many people trying to find their seat on the plane (Beijing to Tokyo), it was hard to continue a long conversation with this wonderful family. But once I got on the plane, I kept my eye on the family’s location on the plane and then followed them with a pen & paper in my hand. My goal: Get this family’s contact information so we can do something for this little boy, named Trey, once we return to the USA. We exchange contact information and engage in short conversations until it’s time to take our seats.
Here’s some information I gathered…

About Trey

First, A.G. & I just can’t believe the sequence of events to bring that family right behind me in line. We thank God for His blessings. The weekend after arriving home, the mother and I were able to connect on the phone to talk some more about Trey’s story (as of Aug 2008). What I find out is Trey is an 11 year old, 6th grader who has leukemia. He was diagnosed in September 2005 when he was 8 years old, and has been undergoing a series of treatment. His leukemia is considered high risk because his white blood cell counts over 100,000 (normal is 4.3-10.3). Trey has overcome hospitalization, missing school for 6 months, and going through many, many tests to ensure proper treatment.

The family lives in Arkansas and Trey has an older sister who also joined him to Beijing. The family is blessed to have a supportive community and school environment. The community came together, along with the local bank and Make-A-Wish, to finance their trip. Trey’s classmates even cut their hair when Trey was losing his hair.

Side note- Trey is a third generation (trey = 3, aka “the third”). Well, A.G. is also a third generation. He is Alfred George Kruger III.

Why ‘the hammer?’

Yes, this was something we wondered about too.  In February 2006 when Trey was very sick in the hospital, The Make-A-Wish Foundation came to his room and asked Trey what wish he would want- any wish possible. In February ’06, the TV broadcasted the winter Olympics. Trey asked his mom questions about the winter Olympics. She told him about the winter Olympics along with the summer Olympics, where his questions continued- ‘What sports are in the summer Olympics?’ Since Trey’s mom is a former discus thrower and currently a track/volleyball coach, she was able to tell Trey about many sports at the summer Olympics! ‘Basketball, volleyball, track, …’ Trey presses, ‘What events in track?’ She explains, ‘running, hurdles, throwing- such as shot put, discus, and hammer.’ Trey gets curious and inquires, ‘What’s the hammer?’ Mom explains then Trey responds, “That’s what I want to see! The hammer throw at the Olympics!’  

What now

Since getting to know Trey and his family, A.G. has sent boxes of Olympic gear to Trey over the years and we send them Christmas cards every year. A.G. & I look forward to continuing a friendship with Trey. It would be awesome if there was a track meet local to Trey so he could watch and attend. We’ll see… !!

Trey has a website if you are interested in supporting him too!

No comments:

Post a Comment