For as far back as he can remember, Cayden has always wanted to be a pop star. His dream ambition is to be on American Idol. And at the rate he is going, he has the talent to do so! For Cayden’s send-off, his wish granters and Make-A-Wish staff members pooled their creativity together to make Cayden feel like a true celebrity pop star. At his parent’s request, the details of his wish and his send-off were kept a surprise. What followed was an entire community coming together to make one of the most memorable send-offs in Make-A-Wish history.
Cayden was surprised at his school by his family, Make-A-Wish staff and volunteers, and a whole slew of photographers and reporters. Cayden was guided by his wish granters (acting as his agents) and his bodyguards (Make-A-Wish Chairman of the Board of Directors and four Husker football players) out through the front of the school where a red carpet lined the way to his limo. Hundreds of his classmates, teachers, volunteers, and fans lined the path screaming and chanting his name.The paparazzi followed his every move. Cayden handled the crowd like a pro, signing autographs when requested, and stopping to pose for photos with his fans. He was whisked away to the radio station for his first on-air interview.
He stunned everyone when he was asked to sing on air and, without hesitation, broke out into Gym Class Heroes “Stereo Hearts.” His voice wowed everyone, including new found fan James Valentine of Maroon 5. James contacted Make-A-Wish and requested to meet him while he was out in LA for his wish trip. While in LA, Cayden got to go to a recording studio and record several songs, getting a pop-star makeover, having a photo shoot, and jamming with Maroon 5. James Valentine described Cayden best in the Lincoln Journal Star by saying that he was “cool as a cucumber.”