Teen With Cancer Wanted To Be A Model & Make-A-Wish Made It Happen

All kids have big dreams about their future, but for some, it's hard to envision what they would do for their career because they worry that they may not make it to adulthood. That's why organizations like Make-A-Wish are so special — because they give kids a chance to live a dream at a time when they are suffering through a health challenge that limits their options for the future.

One Idaho teen wanted to become a model, but after five years of chemotherapy treatments to combat a cancerous brain tumor, he wasn't sure if he would ever reach his goal. Thanks to Make-A-Wish, Hank Cazier's picture is on a billboard in his hometown. Moreover, he's in Macy's holiday gift guide this Christmas season.

For his wish, Hank didn't just get to be a star in Idaho Falls. He was flown to New York to participate in a two-day photoshoot and get lessons and tips from top people in the industry. That's something that most 19-year-old models never get a chance to achieve.

Hank Cazier in a Macy's holiday ad
Credit: Macy Holiday Campaign

For Hank, it was the culmination of a dream but also a chance to boost his confidence. He's a good looking young man, but he's had to deal with a lot during his formative years. Because of the surgery from his cancer, Hank lost a lot of his motor skills, and he had to work hard in physical, occupational and speech therapy to gain them back. He has spent so much time in doctors' and therapists' offices, as well as the hospital, and there is a psychological toll to the treatment as well.

Macy's saw the talent and good looks and put them in one of their most important advertisements of the year. That's something that brings a big smile to Hank and to all of his family and friends, and we're touched by the story as well.

Hank was surprised by the billboard — he didn't know that his achievement would be so public in Idaho Falls. And Make-A-Wish also arranged for him to have an autograph signing of his ad at the local mall.

Hank described the experience as "life-changing," and that's what we hope for everyone who has to go through an experience like cancer — that there are other moments in their lives that can be so special and transformative.

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