CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — He’s from Minnesota, and all he has ever wanted is to see the ocean and learn to surf. His wish was granted today in Carolina Beach and he got even more than he wished for.
Evan Woodwick was diagnosed with Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis back in August 2015. All he wanted was to finally see the ocean and beach and get surfing lessons. The group “Raegan’s Wish” made it a reality.
“With Raegan’s Wish, just lifting us up like this, our family- I don’t know if you can say that we needed this, but we so needed this,” Evan’s mom Tammy Woodwick said.
Evan and his family traveled more than 1500 miles to Carolina Beach and got more than they could believe. Evan was made mayor for the day, was in charge of a council meeting, got the key to the city and got surfing lessons from the world champ Tony Silvagni.
“For me to have an opportunity to take him out on the water and share a memory that he will always remember, that means a lot to me,” Silvagni said.
Evan says this is a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” but he wants to keep it at once for now.
“It was scary. Salty,” Evan said.
When asked if he’d do it again, he said, “uh I don’t think so. No, sadly.” But his mom was having the time of her life.
“I was screaming and going woooooo. I’m so proud of him for hanging on. He’s tired. These kids have a war going on inside their body. They’re so so fatigued often or light headed, dizzy. I’m so proud of him,” Tammy said.
Evan encourages other kids in his position to go out and try something like this.
“Try something new. Yeah. The ocean’s good. I think the ocean’s good for your skin so why not,” Evan said.
But he says he’ll never forget it. Evan also got to ride in a police cruiser, and he and his family went to the aquarium. They will be in Carolina Beach until the weekend.
If you would like to help in the fight against Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, click here.