Jakob was born with a congenital heart defect that caused the left side of his heart to not develop. He underwent three surgeries before the age of two, in an effort to keep his heart functioning. He finally received a heart transplant in June of 2016 and is currently doing well! Throughout the long weeks spent in the hospital, Jakob remained positive and focused on learning about his condition and making his nurses laugh.
Jakob is an outgoing, upbeat kid who loves baseball, Marvel movies and hip-hop music. Most of all, he loves going fast on ATV’s and dirt bikes. So, Jakob was really excited when he finally decided on a trip to California to have an off-road ATV experience.
Life in the Fast Lane
Jakob, along with his mom, step-dad, and younger brother, began the wish by hopping on a plane to San Diego, California. There, they spent time together as a family and went to the Birch Aquarium, rode the amusement rides at Belmont Park and even saw sea lions at Children’s Pool Beach! The family also got to see the animals at the San Diego Zoo, which was “almost too gigantic to see everything,” according to Jakob.
For the last few days of the trip, Jakob and his family traveled to the Lucas Oil Campout Series where they stayed in an RV for the weekend. Jakob was treated like a VIP, got to shout “Drivers, start your engines” before a race and met all of his ATV racing heroes. He even got the chance to put on a racing suit and helmet and go very fast around the racetrack with a driver named Chris Polvoorde. Jakob’s mom, Maygann, said she had “never seen Jakob smile so much.” One of the racers even brought Jakob on stage and gave him the trophy that he had won in a race! Jakob was shocked and beaming with joy!
The Impact of a Wish
Jakob, who is now 13, has just celebrated is third “heart-a-versary” and is excited about 8th grade. His wish experience has inspired him to one day become a dirt bike racer, just like the racers he met in California. The memories he made on the racetrack during his wish continue to bring him joy and confidence every day.