Community rallies to make sick boy's wish come true

Outpouring of support for Hudson Marchewka after his collection of recyclables was stolen

Outpouring of support for Hudson Marchewka after his collection of recyclables was stolen

Hudson holds one of the thousands of bottles strangers have donated to fund the boy's wish trip to England. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)

Saskatoon teen Hudson Marchewka and his family say they are overwhelmed by support from the community to help the 16-year-old realize his wish.

The sick boy had been collecting bottles and cans so his whole family can come with him on his dream vacation. 

Two years ago, doctors suspected Hudson had Leukemia and conducted a double bone marrow biopsy on him. They discovered that in fact, he had Cystic Fibrosis. Shortly after, Hudson was granted a wish through the Saskatchewan chapter of The Children's Wish Foundation.

 I just feel the outpouring of support, the outpouring of love,- Mimi Marchewka

Hudson's mother, Mimi Marchewka said it was tough to take for her and her family of six at first.

"To me [Hudson's wish] meant finalizing it, that he wasn't going to live a full live with us, which was really hard," Marchewka said.

Hudson's wish was to go to Thomas Land, a themed area at Drayton Manor Theme Park based on the children's TV series 'Thomas and Friends', located in Staffordshire, England.

Determined to bring his whole family

Mimi Marchewka and her son Hudson have been working hard for Hudson's wish since 2012. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)

The Children's Wish Foundation was only able to cover the cost of bringing Hudson, his parents and three sisters to the British amusement park.

However, Hudson insisted that his grandparents, who his mother said are like second parents to the boy, come too.

Since then, he had been collecting bottles and cans, and was determined to pay for his grandparents trip to England with the cash from the recyclables. He had been storing the stash of glass and tin on the deck of his family's home.

A thief crushes Hudson's hope

On Friday, Hudson and his mother had planned to take the recyclables to SARCAN, but a thief jumped the fence into the family's home and stole them from the deck.

Mimi Marchewka said she was so angry about the incident that she took to Facebook to complain.

"Well on Friday I went on Facebook and I ranted," Mimi explained. "I did a little blurb on my own page and a then I did a blurb on the Warman/Osler buy-and-sell page."

Outpouring of community support

Since Marchewka left the posts she has received hundreds of calls from strangers who want to help. She said they've had people from Saskatoon, MartensvilleWarmanDalmeny and Carlyle donating everything from recycling to cash to help make Hudson's wish come true.

Hudson and his sister Reo sort through the thousands of bottles that now fill their home's basement. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)

"Complete strangers, a good couple hundred people at least, if not more," Marchewka said. "I mean there's families dropping off bags and bags of donations. I have cheques coming in the mail. Today I got another cheque for Hudson. I just feel the outpouring of support, the outpouring of love."

Thanks to the generosity of others, the Marchewkas are now a quarter of the way to their $6000 goal: the price of plane tickets to Britain for Hudson's grandparents.

Now, Mimi Marchewka said she looks at Hudson's wish differently.

"I now understand [Hudson's wish] is not finalizing his life. It is just giving him a dream that we could never pay for as a family, as parents," Marchewka said.

A family friend of the Marchewkas has set up a GoFundMe site for Hudson's wish.