(CBS4) - Make-A-Wish Colorado has been granting wishes for kids fighting chronic illness for decades. During the pandemic, some of those wishes had to be postponed. Now, kids like Noah Mills are finally seeing their dreams come true.
For Noah, it was a special day at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science recently as he and his family met up with the Make-A-Wish crew.
"When I got here, I was too excited," Noah explained. "I just wanted to look at the fossils."
Noah is 7 years old. He was diagnosed with bilateral Wilms, a type of kidney cancer, after a trip to urgent care for a stomachache in 2019.
"That started his cancer journey," his dad, Jason Mills said. "We started chemo the next day."
Noah's parents say he underwent a major surgery that removed half of each kidney. He continued chemo for months under the care of Dr. Brian Greffe and a team at Children's Hospital.
"He responded really well to the surgery," Dr. Greffe said. "He was really brave, had a lot of courage."
Noah and his family live in Eagle County, a community that rallied around him during some of the toughest times. In March of 2020 Noah was declared cancer free. His parents say nowadays you'd never know the journey he's been through.
"I forget Noah even had cancer, that's how great he's doing," his dad said. "I mean we couldn't even remember the year he was diagnosed at this point. So it's part of his story, but it definitely doesn't define him."
But what does define him is his passion and love for dinosaurs. While he was sick, friends and community members brought Noah dinosaurs to put a smile on his face. So on Friday, he went to the museum to dig in the fossil exhibit for a special surprise.
"You are going to dig for dinosaur fossils in Montana," Noah read, from a note hidden in the sand.
That was Noah's wish while battling cancer, but the wish was postponed due to the pandemic. Now, he'll head to Montana for two days of hands-on dinosaur digs with the Montana Dinosaur Center.
"It's cool that they let me do stuff like go on a dinosaur dig," Noah said. "I think they are rare to find and they are hard to find, and I think they are going to be by bushes and rocks."
"The mission is to bring joy and happiness to these kiddos and something they could only imagine in their dreams come true," explained Cabri Goldsmith, a Wish Coordinator with Make-A-Wish Colorado. "And seeing that is seriously the best gift I've ever been given in my life so far."
Noah and his family will head to the fossil digs later in June.
"I feel great about it and I feel like I'm going to find a sabretooth skull," Noah said excitedly.
The celebration and reveal of Noah's wish also marked an important milestone for his doctor, Dr. Brian Greffe. Dr. Greffe recently retired after 32 years of caring for kids facing chronic illness, and helping to grant more than 200 wishes.
for more features.