Make-A-Wish grants trip for Mustang-loving York County boy
At just three-years-old, Caleb Cook looked out the window of his mother's car and started pointing out mustangs.
No, it wasn't the horse.
It was the Ford kind.
Elizabeth Cook didn't believe it.
"I kept thinking, no he's just looking at cars," the York County resident said. "But no, he got it right every time."
His love kept growing.
At four, Caleb has a subscription to Mustang Monthly and more than two dozen Mustang models, ranging from the 1965 models all the way up to 2014.
Thanks to the Make-A-Wish foundation, a national organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening health issues, Caleb was able to go somewhere special.
This summer, he spent his vacation attending Mustang Week in Myrtle Beach.
Bittersweet: For Elizabeth Cook, the wish was bittersweet.
For the first year of her son's life, he experienced life-threatening medical difficulties.
"While I was pregnant, I learned he had a heart defect," she said. "At just three days old, he had to have surgery."
Caleb spent 31 days in the hospital. His mother can still recall how she felt on each day after his birth.
"You are nothing but scared, worried, hoping for the best," she said.
Four years later, doctors said Caleb is doing well. He continues to see doctors twice a year and will likely be on medication for the rest of his life.
At his home, he regularly plays with his cars, making engine noises while he runs them throughout the house. His brother, Carson Cook, 5, plays with dinosaurs.
"I have a car lot here and a dinosaur lot over there," the mother joked.
Wish granted: Officials from Make-A-Wish first heard of Caleb story after a member of the Cooks' church in Chanceford Township nominated him.
Elizabeth Cook said after he was chosen, members of the organization were surprised by his wish request.
"They thought I was talking about horses," she said. "I said no, he loves Mustangs — as in Ford."
She said it was the first time Make-A-Wish heard of it. It was also the first-time organizers of Mustang Week were asked to grant a wish.
The trip was a family affair, with Caleb's parents, brother and grandmother attending.
His church also gave him a sendoff/birthday party prior to departure.
Caleb said one of the best parts of the trip was getting a custom-made replica of a mustang.
He also got to give out a custom award for his favorite car in the show.
Carson also joined in on the fun. His mother took him to a dinosaur exhibit.
"I feel so lucky they were able to do this for him," she said. "It was really an experience of a lifetime."
Make-A-Wish is always looking for volunteers to help fulfill wishes for children.
For information, contact Becky Kroft at (717) 757-9474 or visit greaterpawv.wish.org.