AUSTIN, Texas - Ten-year-old Nathaniel Duncan is a spry and happy kid, you wouldn't be able to tell what he went through in 2018 and 2019.
“There were a couple of days he started to have a swollen face, his veins were protruding,” said Adrienne Duncan, Nathaniel’s mom. His mom took him to the hospital, where doctors realized he had an aggressive Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
“When they finally did the scan they saw it was a mass hovering over his heart pressing against, like blocking his veins,” said Duncan.
Doctors put Nathaniel on a four-month chemotherapy plan. “My husband would pray over every bag and prayed the chemo would only affect what it needed to and nothing else,” said Duncan.
The treatment was successful with very little side effects. Welcome news for the Duncan family.
Nathaniel also was able to keep up in school thanks to Cowan Elementary staff. “When Nathaniel needed to miss school and those types of things, the teachers were going to do everything they need to do to be part of the Cowan family,” said Travis Brunner, interim principal at Cowan Elementary School.
Then came more surprises, “Make-A-Wish approached us last year before the super bowl and told us they wanted to grant him a wish,” said Duncan.
He got the chance many do not get. The foundation flew him to Super Bowl LIV.
“We were in front row seats behind San Francisco. I got to see Richard Sherman hype up his team,” said Nathaniel.
Kansas City is his favorite team. He even got to meet quarterback Patrick Mahomes. “I was just like standing there, staring at him like, this is not real, but it was. He signed my ball, Andy Reid was also there and he signed my ball too,” said Nathaniel.
To his surprise, the trip was far from over.
“I really just knew I was going to just go to the Super Bowl then leave on Monday and that was it. Then when we got there they told us we were going to Disney. I was like that's so cool,” he said.
Chemotherapy was Nathaniel's cancer treatment, but there's no better medicine than a dose of happiness. “Most of our wish kids live normal and healthy lives. The wish has been something medically looked at to assist in the wellness and improvement,” said Stephen Foster, a trustee at Make-A-Wish Central and South Texas.
Nathaniel is the first Make-A-Wish kid to meet and have the MVP of the Super Bowl accompany him on the trip.
You can follow Nathaniel Duncan’s journey on his Instagram account: nathaniel_fevercyan