Connecticut Boy With Leukemia Gets Thrill Ride At Local Balloon Festival
For a local Connecticut Boy, this year's Plainville Fire Company's Balloon Festival was both a dream come true and an opportunity to go where he's never gone before.
Axel Sundberg, who's just ten years old, was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago. Since that time, he has spent the last year in complete isolation, waiting for a bone marrow transplant procedure, so being able to take a ride in a hot air balloon was truly a special event.
The morning of the balloon ride, he was released from the hospital and headed over to the park that he and his family live only a few blocks from. Alex had never been in a hot air balloon, so one can say it was something that was definitely on his bucket list.
The balloons pilot, Bruce Buiberg, and his crew did the ride especially for Sundberg and his family, since they weren’t doing any other balloon rides that night. Usually the RE/MAX balloon only does rides for corporate employees or auction winners, but they was more than happy to accommodate Alex and his family for this special ride.
Melanie Ouellette, Alex's primary care giver, told myrecordjournal.com about Alex's big adventure:
He’s just starting to do things like this and this is a big thing for him because he’s not responding too well to the treatments, so it’s only a matter of time before nothing works anymore, so these are just very meaningful moments. He was terrified, absolutely terrified at first … but once he got up there he liked it.
Even though the balloon stayed tethered, it was still up to Alex how long he wanted to stay floating a few hundred feet in the air overlooking the park. Balloon pilot Buiberg said they stayed up for about ten minutes and Alex was loving it.
Here's a video of Alex's Balloon Ride: