A Special Visit

Clarion, Iowa –Travis Wenning is six years old, and already knows more about tractors than some adults.  Travis is a huge fan of Big Bud, known as the largest farm tractor in the world.  However, Travis is battling a non-Hodgkins’ Lymphoma known as Burkitt Lymphoma. 

 Diagnosed in December of 2017, Travis’ family quickly learned that he is in the 10% of patients who do not respond to chemotherapy.  Travis is undergoing some new investigational drugs, which appear to make a difference for him.

 Travis’s dad, Nick Wenning, called the Heartland Museum on Saturday the 28th of July.  Was Big Bud available to see and did Clarion have an airport and a car, were his questions.  Melody Lager, Events Coordinator at the museum was able to assure him that Clarion could take care of all of that!  Plans were arranged for a family friend of the Wennings to fly the family in from their home in Greensburg, IN on Tuesday, July 31. 

 Heartland Museum quickly made arrangements for this special wish.  Dean and Carolyn Keller picked the family up at the airport, and Larry Maasdam was on hand to show Travis Big Bud!  Travis was able to sit in the cab and was shown all the controls.  Meanwhile, Melanie Maasdam and friends arranged lunch at the Pizza Ranch, and First Citizens Bank paid the entry fee for the museum.  First State Bank provided a model of Big Bud in a gift basket for Travis.  Heartland Museum provided gifts for siblings, Josie (8) and Henry (4).  After returning from Pizza Ranch, the family went thru the rest of the museum and enjoyed seeing all the tractors. 

Mom Julie told a little story.  “After about three weeks in the hospital during one stay, a nurse asked what she could do for Travis.  His response was, “Take me to Iowa!”  Travis’s wish has now been fulfilled.