Make-A-Wish Connecticut gives Darien boy a picture perfect day with National Geographic
An 8-year-old boy from Darien who battled cancer got to live out a unique dream 1,200 miles from home.
Oban Birmingham loves nature and animals.
"I want to be a naturalist for National Geographic," he said.
In February Birmingham got his wish. He got to hang out with National Geographic photographer Carlton Ward, thanks to Make-A-Wish Connecticut.
"It was so much fun when I went. The photographer was really nice. He gave me a signed magazine," said Birmingham.
The 8-year-old even got to see and meet a rare Florida panther.
"Its name was Athena and it was so cool. I don't have a fear of most animals. I mean, I'd go up to a bear and hug it, to be honest," he said.
Ward told Make-A-Wish he was impressed by Birmingham, who was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer and spent months at Yale-New Haven Hospital last year.
"It was rough because I couldn't walk for a while. I couldn't see my brother and it was really hard," said Birmingham.
After dealing with many complications, Birmingham is now cancer free.
"We got through it because the community was phenomenal. Whether it's neighbors or the Darien Library, the public schools," said his father Tom Birmingham.