Make-a-Wish Foundation grants local teen’s wish of becoming a model
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IDAHO FALLS — Modeling has always been 19-year-old Hank Cazier’s dream and the Make-A-Wish Foundation helped make it a reality Wednesday.
The organization partnered with Macy’s at the Grand Teton Mall to unveil a billboard on Northgate Mile near Rocky Mountain Motors showcasing Cazier.
Earlier this year, Macy’s and Make-A-Wish flew Hank to New York City where he worked with the department store’s creative team to produce photos for its holiday campaign. Over the two-days, he learned how to model, was styled by Macy’s fashion team and was photographed by some of the most well-known photographers in the industry.
“I am honored that I can participate. It’s been so amazing,” Hank said. “This was a childhood dream of mine. And I never thought I would actually make it a reality, but thanks to Macy’s and Make-A-Wish, I have been able to fulfill my childhood dream.”
Hank’s dad, Kolby Cazier, still remembers the day Hank told him he wanted to be a model. But he also can’t forget the morning his athletic 14-year-old son woke up and felt off-balance. He went to the doctor, where he was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. Removing the tumor left Hank paralyzed on the right side of his body.
“He couldn’t swallow, he couldn’t talk, he couldn’t do anything,” Kolby said. “He went from being a very dynamic, outgoing young man, to losing absolutely everything. He had to come back from that.”
Macy’s and Make-A-Wish have helped play a role in giving Hank hope for his future which he says is now looking “fantastic.”
Following the unveiling, Hank was driven in a limo to Macy’s where he was greeted by family, friends and store workers. He wrote a letter to Santa as part of Macy’s annual “Believe” letter-writing campaign and took time to autograph some Macy’s holiday catalogs, which also feature his NYC photos.
The unveiling of the billboard was part of “Wish Wednesday” where several Macy’s across the country participate in celebrating the wish of children between Nov. 6 – Dec. 11.
“We get the joy of making a difference in a child and their family’s lives. In a sense, we get to play fairy godmother,” Regional Manager of Make-A-Wish Idaho Julie Thomas said. “We honestly couldn’t do what we do without Macy’s…We are so appreciative of this relationship that we have.”
Macy’s customers of all ages can participate in writing letters to Santa, just like Hank did, up until Dec. 24. For each letter dropped off in stores or submitted online, Macy’s donates $1, up to $1 million, to Make-A-Wish.