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Aaron's Nuclear Wish

  • Aaron was all smiles at the site of his favorite scientific attraction!

  • Aaron enjoyed seeing the LHC first hand from the scientists working on-site!

  • Aaron takes a tour of the Largest Hadron Collider in the World!

  • Aaron enjoyed speaking with physicists who shared his scientific passion!

  • Aaron's whole party was in awe of the scientific wonders at the LHC site!

  • Aaron has had an interest in physics for as long as he can remember!

  • The gang enjoyed some French sightseeing.

  • Taking a break from science, the three take in some peaceful scenery.

  • Aaron hopes to return to CERN one day to work on a project of his own.

  • Aaron learns about cockpit operations from a United Airlines pilot!

“ Aaron is even more inspired and determined than ever to work hard to pursue a career in physics. ”

- Aaron's Mom Judy

Seventeen-year-old Aaron is an aspiring physicist who has a special interest in elementary particles. Following his passion for science, Aaron traveled all the way to Geneva, Switzerland on his wish to visit the European Council for Nuclear Research.

At just 15 years old, Aaron was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. Through his battle with the disease, Aaron’s excitement for science has persevered.

When asked what his one true wish would be, Aaron told his Make-A-Wish volunteers he wanted to go to Switzerland to visit the CERN, or European Council for Nuclear Research. He dreamed of meeting real particle physicists and seeing the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, in person.

Aaron’s wish-granting volunteers relayed his wish to the Make-A-Wish staff, and soon enough, the trip was planned and it was time for Aaron’s family to set off on their adventure.

Aaron’s twin brother Jordan, his mother Judy and his cousin Kira joined Aaron for his wish, traveling all the way to Geneva, Switzerland. The wish experience started even before arriving in Switzerland, when the pilot of their plane invited Aaron to the cockpit for a special tour while the other passengers boarded. Already impressed, the excitement mounted as Aaron and his family reached their destination in Geneva, Switzerland. 

After settling in, Aaron and his family were eager to check out the CERN facilities. Aaron spent an entire day enjoying one on one time with elementary particle physicists and getting a private tour of the facilities. Aaron’s eyes lit up as he interacted with the esteemed men and women he one day hoped to call his colleagues. The LHC unfortunately was closed at the time of Aaron's wish due to repairs, but instead he got the chance to see how a day at CERN works. He was able to talk about physics and career paths with different engineers and a variety of physicists.

Aaron’s Mother, Judy shared, “I was thrilled to watch Aaron absolutely light up when interacting with brilliant elementary particle physicists. It is a pretty specialized field so when he tries to talk excitedly to his friends and family about the properties of elements smaller than atoms, most people's eyes glaze over pretty quickly. So to watch him talk shop with people who were every bit as excited about physics as he was something really special.” Aaron even discussed his future as a physicist with the theoretical and experimental physicists working at the CERN.

From the CERN facility in Switzerland, Aaron’s family departed to the town of Annecy, France for some much needed rest and relaxation. The family took in the sights of the town, enjoying its culture, history and beauty. 

Aaron returned home from his trip with memories that will last a lifetime and an even greater passion for science. As Aaron's mother puts it, "Aaron is even more inspired and determined than ever to work hard to pursue a career in physics and maybe make it back to CERN in the future, this time to work on an actual project." 

He was very impressed and excited about this unique experience. Thank you for making his wish so special in so many ways! ”

— Aaron's mom Judy

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June 25, 2012 - 11:25 AM

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