SOCHI, Russia Team USA snowboarder Shaun White will go home from his third Olympics without a medal in the men's halfpipe, but one of his biggest fans from St. Louis struck gold.
Ben Hughes is a 10-year-old straight-A student and a mostly kind and caring big brother.
Not all the time, but sometimes, said his little brother, Will.
And a cancer survivor.
Ben was diagnosed at age six in 2010. It's a type of Leukemia, a rare form called T-Cell, explained Ben's mom, Liz Hughes.
It was scary in kindergarten getting diagnosed with cancer, said Ben.
It's been a long, often painful road.
The treatment plan is two and half years long, said his mom.
But all the poking and prodding didn't affect his ability to dream big, really big.
I wouldn't say we were shocked or surprised that that was his choice, but we thought it was a big wish, his mom added.
So imagine the family's surprise when make-a-wish called to tell them they were going to the Olympics.
Uh, this can't be happening, this is super awesome, said Ben.
We were floored, Liz said.
I'm going to see the snowboard half pipe, I'm going to see speed skating, figure skating and hockey, Ben said, running through the list.
It is the trip of a lifetime after a two and half year journey that isn't completely over.
He gets blood work every 60 days, said his mom.
The thing is that little guy who will be in the stands is as inspiring as the athletes on the ice. He obviously has the ability to handle anything that comes his way and the determination to beat it with grace.