Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Young Austin's wish granted

Make-A-Wish Minnesota grants Moose Lake first-grader's wish


Lois E. Johnson

Austin Thompson, 7, talks with Superman, one of his favorite superheroes, in his first grade classroom at the Moose Lake Community School. Superman gave Austin a Spiderman mask.

Thanks to Make-A-Wish Minnesota, Moose Lake first-grader Austin Thompson, 7, and his family will soon head to Disney World.

Austin was surprised with the news Tuesday, March 29, in his first grade classroom at Moose Lake Community School. Though Austin's favorite superhero, Spiderman, was unable to attend, another favorite superhero, Superman, was there and gifted Austin with his very own Spiderman mask.

"We grant wishes of children with life threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy," it is stated on the organization's website,

Austin has an inoperable brain tumor, leaving his future uncertain.

It was a year ago when Austin's parents, Chay and Kayla Brune, received the news. He had a seizure late one evening and he was rushed to Mercy Hospital, where he had a CT scan, Kayla said in an interview last November.

Something was found on the CT scan and Austin was taken to Children's Hospital, where it was discovered he has a tumor on the lower temporal lobe of his brain.

Radiation treatments have shrunk the size of the slow-growing benign astrocytoma tumor, but it is now in a progressive stage.

"The prognosis isn't good," she had said. "The tumor has to go away or he'll fight it his entire life. If it does go away, they said it will keep coming back."

Besides the radiation, which has been stopped because of the danger to his brain, Austin has to take chemotherapy medication to stop convulsions, Kayla added.

But Austin was happy that day when he was the center of attention in his classroom. He was roaming around the room, giving plastic Easter eggs with candy inside to the adults in the room. He also took part in the activities that the Make A Wish representatives had for the class, such as making handprints on paper they would make into Superheroes or eating cupcakes brought for the class.

"This is the first time Make-A-Wish has come to Moose Lake Elementary to grant a wish for a student," said Kraig Koneitzko, the elementary principal.

The trip to Disney World isn't Austin's top wish. He has three.

The first is to grow up. The second is to spend a day with his teacher, Ann Stephenson, and the third is to go to Disney World.

"We are going on a plane," said one of Austin's sisters. Anora is 3 and Auora is 4.

The family leaves for Disney World soon, said Chay, his dad.

Make-A-Wish Minnesota was represented by Sue Shelerud of Esko and Helen Sandwick of Duluth.


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