Four-Year-Old Cancer Patient Becomes a Hard-Hatted Half-Pint for an Unforgettable Day

Dan Weckerly
Image via Ben Samkavitz, Bucks County Courier Times.

It’s not unusual for a construction foreman to oversee heavy machinery at work while decked out in an orange vest, hard hat, and toolbelt. It is unusual when that foreman is four years old, writes Marion Callahan for the Bucks County Courier Times. 

“He’ll be talking about this until he’s 20, I think,” said Dana Esposito of Conshohocken. She and her husband beamed while watching their son, Nicholas, at the controls of a massive excavator.

The junior journeyman sat on the lap of a more experienced colleague. But he was nonetheless in charge, emptying a bucket claw of dirt into a dump truck. 

Nicholas conjured this dream while receiving treatment for neuroblastoma. For 16 months, he endured chemotherapy, passing the time by watching a building go up next door to his treatment room. 

He rebuilt his walking skills by navigating the halls, outfitted with a tiny toolbelt. His quest? Any little hospital project looking in need of repair. 

“Construction,” his father said, “kept him going.” 

Finding a local contractor willing to tackle this heart-filled project didn’t take long. Make-a-Wish connected with EDA Contractors, and its owner, Ed DeAngelis, readily agreed to his wish

Before long, DeAngelis was picking up Nicholas in a dump truck to go to work. 

Onsite, Nicholas mixed cement, helped brick a wall, and invited his younger siblings to roll up their sleeves and join him. 

More about the fulfillment of this fun and unusual wish made possible by Make-a-Wish is in the Bucks County Courier Times