Jenison High School student Mason Moerdyk, 16, has battled cystic fibrosis ever since he can remember.
He has not let his condition get in the way of his love for music and marching to the beat of his own drum.
Volunteers from Make-A-Wish Michigan recently teamed up with Mason’s parents, Amanda and Shane Moerdyk, to surprise him at school during band class.
Make-A-Wish Michigan volunteers Barbara Moser and Elly Bainbridge spoke to his class Tuesday morning about the foundation, but little did Mason know that he would be presented with his wish to meet the Red Hot Chili Peppers during a meet and greet in Boston before their concert.
“I saw my mom and brother at the end of the hallway walking in and I kinda knew,” Mason said. “But, yeah, it surprised me. I was pretty excited.”
Mason enjoys playing the bass and looks to Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bass player, Flea, for inspiration.
“In eighth grade I was in the hospital for two weeks and that was the first, actual time I started listening to bands and they were the first band I listened to,” Mason said.
The talented trumpet player who marches for Jenison’s marching band knows that it isn’t common for someone with cystic fibrosis—a disease that attacks the lungs and digestive system— to play an instrument that requires you to hold a lot of air in your lungs.
“I just have to keep in mind that I can’t play as long as other people because I can’t sustain enough air,” Mason explains. “I won’t let it drag me down, though.”
Mason says this wish is important to him because he has battled this disease for such a long time, and having the chance to be able to go do something really fun and meet his favorite band is very rewarding.
Mason’s father, Shane, tends to agree.
“The Make-A-Wish Foundation is just incredible,” Moerdyk said. “(Mason) has fought for every day so we could have tomorrow together, and now we have a lot of those to enjoy.”