When seven-year-old Vonn Chorneyko was approached by Make-A-Wish and asked what his three wishes were, he could only think of one: he wanted to meet Santa Claus.
“The skeptic in him was like, ‘no, that would never happen so that’s what I want’,” his mother Ashley Chorneyko said.
“Leading up to it he always said, ‘it’s not going to happen, it’s not going to happen. No one gets to meet Santa right?’” added his father Colin Chorneyko.
Diagnosed with a hematologic disorder, Vonn regularly visits the hospital for blood tests and travels the country meeting specialists.
If his blood numbers get too low in the future, he could potentially need a bone marrow transplant.
But in mid-December, Make-A-Wish treated the Chorneykos to a vacation in Arizona. The family was then put on a bus and transported — via portal — to the North Pole.
Vonn was thrown into the North Pole experience, even getting a sneak peak at one of the toys he’d be receiving for Christmas.
He sat with an elf named Lucky to build his own skateboard. After completing ‘Elf University’, Vonn was named an honourary elf.
When it came to meeting Santa, Vonn reported that he was “cool and nice”, and even offered his glasses so Vonn could further examine a splinter in his finger.
“I got to wear his glasses. They’re like regular glasses but with magnifying glass at the bottom on both sides,” recalled Vonn.
Back home on Christmas morning, he woke up to a note from Mr. Claus and a reminder of his time at the North Pole.
“I got one of Santa’s bells from his sleigh. If you can hear it, that obviously means you believe in Santa,” said Vonn.