Bradon Coy is a 10-year-old with a rare genetic condition known as Duchenne muscular dystrophy. About 1 in 3,600 boys will be born with this disease, which causes muscles in the legs and arms to experience significant weakness. The muscle wasting can also spread to critical organs, draining them of their performance. While there are treatments available, there is no cure and the disease may end up taking his life.
Because of his diagnosis, Bradon was granted a wish by the incredible Make-A-Wish Foundation.
He could have wished to go to Disney. He could have wished to meet his favorite sports team or his favorite celebrity. While those are all amazing choices, he had his sights set on something a little less conventional: he wanted to go hunting for insects like a real scientist.
Bradon's wish came true, thanks to entomologist Phil Torres. Torres hosts TechKnow on Al Jazeera America, which documented the entire experience. This wasn't an average backyard expedition: the pair combed the floor of the rain forests of Panama, taking in all of the incredible biodiversity.
From the look on Bradon's face, it's easy to see that he loved taking in all of the knowledge that Torres had to share with him.
"It looks like a city street," Torres says in the video, calling Bradon's attention to a busy trail of ants on the ground, "and if you follow it long enough, it'll connect with another city street, and then it turns into a highway and gets even bigger."
"The dream come true is for him to spend time with entomologists, people who do what he loves to do," Bradon's father explains in the tape.
The two used nets to safely capture insects for examination and Bradon even got to try his hand at some wildlife photography as well. There were also some extremely heartfelt moments, including the two entomologists allowing stick insects to walk on each others' faces and Torres offering a hand to keep Bradon steady when they crossed rough terrain.
When Torres asked him what he loves best about the rain forest, Bradon simply replied, "It's because of all the bugs."
Can't argue with that.
Check out the video below from TechKnow and watch Bradon's entomology dreams come true:
(H/T: Al Jazeera America)