Denver7 | Gives


7-year-old with brain tumor visits LEGOLAND, thanks to Denver7 Gives

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Posted at 4:45 PM, Dec 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-30 13:20:54-05

CARLSBAD, Calif. — Seven-year-old Zander couldn’t stop saying "Whoa" as he walked through the LEGOLAND Park in California. It was the happy end to a story that started with a small lemonade stand in Wellington, Colorado.

Back in July, Denver7 first met Zander as he sold lemonade on his front lawn, trying to raise money to try to get to LEGOLAND. His mom, Nichole Guarriello, wanted to make as many good memories as possible, given her son’s diagnosis.

“Two days before Christmas of 2021, he had been diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor that is inoperable,” Guarrillo told Denver7 in July.

Zander originally fell short of his goal, but the response into Denver7 Gives was nearly immediate. Viewers donated money and LEGOLAND stepped in to help.

“They’re able to donate six tickets to LEGOLAND in California and two days at the park,” Denver7’s Amy Wadas told Zander in August, who was totally surprised.

This week, Zander and his family took that trip to San Diego.

“I dreamed about being here,” Zander told one park employee.

In just his first day at LEGOLAND, Zander toured through life-sized LEGO models, met a master model builder, did some building himself, and received his own personalized LEGO figure.

“I didn’t realize that there would be an outpouring of generosity with everybody,” Zander’s mom said.

It was a literal dream come true for Zander, made possible by donations into Denver7 Gives. Even better news came from the boy’s doctors about Zander’s treatment.

“They're thinking that by August, he will not need medication any longer,” his mom said. “And hopefully by then they can deem him cancer-free.”

Denver7 features the stories of people who need help and now you can help them with a cash donation through Denver7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.

To donate to this campaign or choose another to support, use the secure form below.

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