Defer gives Super Hero send off to Make-A-Wish Recipient

Katie Steiner, Staff Writer

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March 5th was Super Hero day at Defer Elementary school. On the same day, second grader Zach Nyenhuis and his sister, Hannah, were headed to Disney for their younger brother Matthew’s Make-A-Wish trip. The kids were disappointed to be missing the spirit day, but they had no idea what was planned for them and their three year old brother, Matthew.

On November 30, 2017, parents Kerrie and Josh discovered a lump in Matthew’s leg. Soon after, in December of 2017, Matthew was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. His treatment began shortly after that Christmas, with four rounds of chemotherapy. After spending 147 days in the hospital, Matthew has been in remission since July 2018.

The limousine ride to the airport was supposed to be a surprise for the family, not even Matthew’s parents knew about it. But when the limo turned down Kercheval Avenue, Kerrie Nyenhuis knew something was up.

Mrs. Nyenhuis immediately knew what was going on once she saw all of the students and teachers outside of Defer waving at them. All along, Super Hero Day was actually a tribute to Matthew, who loved superheroes. The family said they had a wonderful time down at Disney, despite the fact it was a bittersweet trip. “You never want to have to be the recipient of Make-A-Wish because the reasons you’re getting the trip are terrible, but the bright side of it and the sweet side of it is that there are all these things out there for families.” said Kerrie.

Photos courtesy of Grosse Pointe News