SAN DIEGO – Devin Hensley, a nine-year-old diagnosed with a Stage IV Wilms’ tumor, received a wish sponsored by the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund of Indianapolis, to spend a day visiting elements of Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet in San Diego, Calif., June 22.
During his visit, Devin, who was diagnosed with the kidney tumor in January 2010, toured the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97); the firearms tactical training simulator; and the littoral combat ship training simulator.
“Devin has always been interested in the military forces,” said Leslie Hensley, Devin’s mother.
According to Hensley, her son loves watching both the military and history channels.
“Since he was little, he always wanted to be a "Soldier,” but now, after this opportunity he will probably become a “Sailor,” said Hensley.
In addition to touring the facilities, Devin also had the opportunity to interact and visit with Sailors.
“My favorite part of the day was having lunch with the captain and the crew,” said Devin, following his trip aboard Halsey. “I know the captain is very busy, but he still took time for me and I am really happy that he did.”
Devin was not the only person that enjoyed the outcome of his wish.
“It was an incredible feeling for me to help Devin experience his naval dream,” said Ensign Jeffrey Brauser, the repair division officer aboard Halsey. “Every day we come to work and dive into our daily routines, and we sometimes take for granted the experiences we have. Today, Devin was able to experience life on board a United States naval warship, and it was indescribable to see the joy it brought him. I am very grateful I had the opportunity to participate in Devin's dream and I will never forget the smile on his face as he walked across the brow, leaving the ship.”
According to Hensley, her son completed his treatment in August 2010 and though he’s required to do checkups every three months for possible recurrence, he will be able to cut his follow-ups down to every six months in September.
“Devin is your average nine-year-old boy,” said Hensley. “He just has a large scar to show how amazing he really is.”
The Indiana Children’s Wish Fund, founded in August 1984, is a nonprofit and single-entity, statewide organization that grants wishes to Indiana children who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening or terminal illness. Funding for the wishes are made possible through the support of corporate and individual donations, as well as fundraising events. To date, the program has granted over 2,300 wishes to Indiana children.
For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit www.public.navy.mil/surfor or follow the Surface Force at www.facebook.com/SurfaceWarriors.