AMHERST – An Amherst sports fan had an enviable getaway this month. Dillon LeBlanc, 15, was flown to New Jersey for a long weekend to take in a monster truck show and a baseball game, courtesy of the London, Ontario-based Sunshine Foundation of Canada.
“He was just totally ecstatic,” said his mother, Nancy Walsh.
She was talking about her son meeting Tom Meents, driver of Maximum Destruction. LeBlanc got a big hug from the monster truck driver.
Walsh, who runs the Old Warehouse Café in Amherst, first made contact with the charity last September. The foundation fulfills wishes for kids with severe physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses. After submitting a basic query, she was sent an application form. Her son Dillon, who has cerebral palsy, qualified.
The trip lasted five days and four nights. In addition to the truck rally, they got to see the Mets play the Cubs at City Field in New York.
“He loved it,” said Walsh.
The mother described her son as a sports fanatic. He’s had a long interest in monster trucks – she noted that it runs year-round so it’s always available to watch – as well as Nascar. And from his step-father of three years he’s inherited an appreciation for football and golf.
Dillon’s own ability to participate in sports is very limited.
“I wish that there were (sports),” she said.
She described her sons hands as tight and said that a major curve in his spine means they have to be cautious about weight-bearing. Dillon enjoys laying sports games online that only require a single button to control.
“It was just great,” she said of the trip.
Nancy also went on the jaunt, as well as her husband.
“That’s my first time to the States,” said Walsh.
The trip would not have been affordable for the family, she said.