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Wish for an experience with sea turtles granted in Boca Raton to young Kansas teen battling cancer

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Posted at 12:20 PM, Jun 25, 2019

BOCA RATON, Fla.-- A life-changing wish came true for a 14-year-old battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Keeton Nimrod and his family drove from Kansas to Boca Raton on Tuesday to help care for rescued sea turtles at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center.

“I got to hold a sea turtle and I got to feed the sea turtle,” said Keeton.

Sea turtle conservation is generally off limits to the public, but Keeton was all hands-on deck thanks to a partnership between Make-a-Wish Southern Florida and Gumbo Limbo Nature Center.

“I know I speak for everyone at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center when I say that hosting Wish kids is one of our favorite things to do. We love what we do here, and it is a joy to share it with others,” said Gumbo Limbo Nature Center Manager Leanne Welch.

Make-A-Wish Southern Florida Chief Operating Officer Richard Kelly said it takes community partners to help the organization grant the wishes.

“Every wish it’s just another experience, it’s another life that we’ve changed, it’s not just Keeton, but it’s his family, the entire family that came down here from Kansas and get to experience this with him but you can just see the joy in his face and knowing that we’re changing his life,” said Kelly.

Keeton said that he’s always had a passion for sea turtles and hopes to become s veterinarian when he grows up. His mother, Susan Nimrod, said it was wonderful to see her son’s wish come true.

“It has been absolutely wonderful, when you go through treatments and you’re the one who follows him through all of the pricks and the hospitalizations it’s so nice to see him come out and be able to laugh and smile and see his dream come true,” said Nimrod.

Keeton and his family are headed back to Kansas on Saturday where Keeton will continue his chemotherapy treatments until August.