Seven-year-old Ryan Beining likes drawing, Legos and playing baseball. But his real love? Camping.
Ryan’s dad, Nate, said his son has wanted to own a camper of his own for years so the family could sit around camp fires, go fishing, make s’mores and generally have a good time.
And doing things like that have meant more to the family since doctors found a cancerous tumor on Ryan’s brain last year. He has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments every two weeks in Indianapolis.
But there will be plenty of camping, fishing and family time in Ryan’s future. The nonprofit group Make-A-Wish surprised the Taylor Elementary School first-grader with a brand new, 25-foot travel trailer on Saturday.
Nate said he and his wife, Anita, found out their make-a-wish request with the organization would be granted last month but had to keep a lid on the news until Saturday, when they drove down to Greenfield to pick up their Gulf Stream Ameri-Lite camper.
Nate said they told Ryan they had to go to Greenfield so his mom could go to an appointment. While they were there, he told Ryan they could stop by Mount Comfort RV, a camper dealership in the area, to browse around the trailers and maybe pick up a camper part his uncle needed.
Ryan bought into the story, no questions asked.
When they arrived at the dealership, Nate and Ryan went into the office and asked to look around at the campers. An employee took them back to the Gulf Stream and let Ryan go inside.
Ryan came out, and the employee asked him if he liked it. Ryan said yes. Would he like a trailer like that? Yes.
Then he told Ryan it was his.
“He was totally overwhelmed,” Nate said Tuesday. “He couldn’t believe it. It took a while for it to sink in. But when it did, he just started jumping around.”