MILWAUKEE, WI (WMTV/Gray News) – You try to cherish every moment when you’re a 19-year-old with terminal brain cancer.
Zach Olson knew he was going to see his favorite band Shinedown on Friday. What he didn’t know was that he was going to get the full backstage experience.
His family thought it would just be a simple meet-and-greet, but It turned out to be much more.
Shinedown frontman Brent Smith took Olsons on a tour backstage and explained how the technical equipment worked. He also introduced him to the other two bands playing on the bill – Papa Roach and Asking Alexandria.
The best part was the family got to stand right next to the stage and watch the band perform.
“I was in shock,” Zach Olson said. “I think I liked everything about it.”
Zach’s mom, Miranda Olson, arranged the night through Thursday’s Child, an organization that grants wishes for seriously ill kids and young adults.
“My heart was full, my eyes were full, it was amazing,” she said. “To see that happen for him, to know that’s all he wanted. I couldn’t think of anything better.”
Seeing Shinedown do so much for her son was more than she could have dreamed.
"They made us feel like we were family, like we were part of them," Olson said. "I wish they knew what it meant to us to make this dream come true."
Zach Olson was first diagnosed with brain cancer in 2009, but he had been clean for several years when he went in for his annual scan in January.
“I had no concerns. I had no questions. I had no idea,” Miranda Olson said. “And they did the scan and we received the worst news ever.”
His cancer was back and growing fast, and this time, it was incurable. No one knew how much time he had left.
“If we get through today, we plan for tomorrow, but making dreams come true was the biggest thing I wanted,” she said.