Teen with terminal brain cancer gets final wish, receives royal treatment at concert


JANESVILLE, Wis. (WTHR) — A 19-year-old from Wisconsin experienced a dream come true when he not only met the band Shinedown, but also got to watch the concert from backstage.

Zach Olson has terminal brain cancer. WMTV reports he was first diagnosed in 2009, but had overcome it. In January, his family received the unfortunate news that his cancer had returned.

This time, the cancer was growing fast and it was incurable. No one knew exactly how much time he had left to live.

Zach's mother, Miranda, wanted to make sure her son could see his dreams come true before his death, so she reached out to an organization called Thursday's Child to help. Thursday's Child grants wishes for terminally ill kids and young adults. For Zach, that wish was meeting Shinedown.

Zach and his family got to meet the band and so much more.

"To see that happen for him, to know that's all he wanted, I couldn't think of anything better," Miranda said.

In a Facebook post, Miranda said she thought the meeting would just be a quick photo opportunity and a chance to hang out for a minutes. She did not expect to form a bond like they were family.

Zach got to meet Shinedown and their entire crew in addition to the other two bands that performed at the March 8 Milwaukee show, Papa Roach and Asking Alexandria. Shinedown lead singer Brent Smith gave Zach a private tour, then he got to watch the opening acts from a private suite with free food and drinks.

The cherry on top to the already incredible night was being able to watch Shinedown's show from right next to the stage.

"They made us feel like we were family, like we were part of them," Miranda told WMTV. "I wish they knew what it meant to us to make this dream come true."

Miranda said the memory will definitely be one that's never forgotten. It appears the band will never forget it, either.

Zach's story has gotten a huge response since the night of the concert. His mom says now that his final wish has been granted, he's trying to spend as much time as he can with his younger brother, Gavin.

Smith sent Miranda a video last week wishing Gavin a happy birthday, and saying he was planning "something really, really cool" for the brothers.

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