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Brennig journeys to Middle Earth

Brennig Yates

“ Brennig‘s wish was an amazing reward. ”


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Brennig is a reserved, caring boy who loves to learn! He loves to read anything and everything, but his all-time favorite books are the Lord of the Rings series.  Brennig had a rough time towards the end of 2014, but he didn’t let that stop him from being himself.

Brennig was diagnosed with a non-germinoma brain tumor. Non germinoma are germ cells that are trapped in the brain. Luckily, with blood tests and MRI scans, Brennig’s doctors were able to quickly give him treatment.

After Brennig was diagnosed, he had to undergo surgery. Brennig went through his treatment like a true champion. Having his parents and siblings beside him during his battle definitely helped make the process bearable and continued his strength to fight. 

Brennig's Wish

When asked by his volunteers what he wanted for his wish, Brennig knew that going to New Zealand was the perfect wish for him since he loves The Lord of the Rings. Make-A -Wish Georgia wasn’t going to let Brennig down. They kept his hope alive when his volunteers surprised him with a gift -- a ring on a necklace to symbolize his trip! Brennig was extremely excited.

Brennig and his family couldn’t wait to go on their fun-filled trip to New Zealand. Experiencing a new culture was a plus, too. Packing their bags and loading their car on their departure day made their trip more realistic. They were finally leaving to travel across the globe.

New Zealand, Here We Come

The plane trip there was relaxing. New Zealand is over 20 hours away, so the family had to take three planes!  After great accommodations and eating all the snacks and goodies in-between naps, they finally arrived in Auckland, New Zealand.

After adjusting to driving on the opposite side of the road, getting used to New Zealand’s culture was a breeze! When they got to their room they were more than ready to scope out the town and ready to explore. They drove downtown, went to the beach and bought some souvenirs. Their trip was starting off in the right direction.

Time to Explore

After two days of adjusting to New Zealand time, they were ready to drive to Matamata to visit Hobbiton! Two hours of nice scenery and the open road as a family was a great experience. When Brennig and his family arrived to the movie set, they were blown away.

They enjoyed a guided tour and took plenty of pictures with a breath-taking background. Trying Ginger Ale and other drinks at the Green Dragon Inn, a pub that was in the movie, was especially fun to get the movie-world experience. Hobbiton was by far Brennig’s favorite!

Culture Adventure

After exploring Hobbiton, Brennig and his family stayed in Rotorua where they had plenty of fun going on the Te Puia tour and visiting the glow worm caves! The Te Puia tour was filled with tons of experience with the Maori culture, the indigenous people of New Zealand.  

Brennig and his family, learned about wood carving, ate the cultural food and even danced a Maori cultured dance! They toured the geothermal valley and saw all kinds of natural scenery. Just as they were leaving, they caught one of New Zealand’s active geysers shooting in the air!

Although they were not allowed to take pictures when they toured the glow worm caves, the caves were absolutely beautiful and they saw all the bright green glow worms! After visiting the glow worm cave, Brennig and his family went on the Hairy Feet Tour. They saw the location where the Hobbits trilogy was filmed.

Their next cool adventure was a trip to Tongariro National Park where ‘Mount Doom’ was featured in the Lord of the Rings! Although Mother Nature was not cooperating, Brennig and his family were still filled with joy. They stayed in a beautiful iconic Chateau and had fun taking a splash in the pool.

The Lord of the Rings Tour

After all the thrilling adventures from traveling all over New Zealand, they were finally visiting the main event -- going to the Lord of the Rings Tour!

Brennig and his family toured the Wellington Rover and WETA Workshop. Brennig had the chance of a lifetime to visit yet another film location and see actual costumes and weapons that were used in the movie!

Power of a Wish

Brennig‘s wish was an amazing reward. A reward to show all children that hope, strength and joy is always present even in the darkest of times.  

Going through some rough changes can bring a child and a family down and they may lose their hope, strength and joy, but granting their wish has the power to rejuvenate them into continuing their lives and continuing their strength. Having Brennig’s wish granted was just that, a wish come true.

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Make-A-Wish® Georgia
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