I wish to be an astronaut
9 year-old Benjamin was born with kidney disease and spent much of his early childhood in the hospital for treatments before receiving a kidney transplant. Exhausting weekly visits to the doctor’s office for lab tests and medication kept Benjamin from participating in his favorite activities, like playing soccer and bike riding.
Benjamin developed a love for learning about outer space, the planets, NASA, space travel and astronauts. During his treatments, Benjamin dreamed of putting on a spacesuit, trying the different foods astronauts eat, and “doing what astronauts do.” When he was told he could have a wish through Make-A-Wish, there was no question that he wanted to go with his family to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to meet astronaut Mike Hopkins and tour the space center facilities.
He explored the facility with Colonel Hopkins, tried out the equipment in the astronauts' gym, walked through mock-ups of the space station, observed astronauts training for space walks and stood in the iconic Mission Control Center. His favorite moment was controlling an active, real-time camera on the outside of the International Space Station.
Benjamin’s day at the Johnson Space Center was one he will never forget. It ignited his ambition to be an astronomer when he gets older and he continues to learn new facts that further his interest. In a letter sent to Make-A-Wish Greater Angeles, Benjamin’s parents said, “Our afternoon at NASA was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are so glad Benjamin chose this wish and that Make-A-Wish was able to fulfill it beyond his wildest dreams!"