Riley spent time swimming with dolphins on his Make-A-Wish trip in June 2012
Riley Nold is just like your average 10-year old, only he's been in a fight since the day he was born.
"My heart, if you listen to a normal person's heart you would hear the regular beating, but then mine you would hear something very different." Said Riley Nold.
Riley has what's called aortic stenosis, which means the valve in his aorta doesn't open all the way. This limits the blood flow to his heart. In his short ten years of life, Riley's already had four heart surgeries in three states.
"As a mom your first reaction is your kind of in denial and then once it sets in that this is what we're facing, as a mom you can I want to lay yourself down for your child and if you could take their place you would but you know you can't." Said Tammy Nold.
But Riley and his family were not alone, Riley was chosen by Make-A-Wish of South Dakota to receive the gift of a granted wish.
"I wished that I could go to Atlantis!" Said Riley Nold.
"He came to us and said yeah I want to go to Atlantis, I said buddy, Atlantis isn't real you can't go to Atlantis." Said Riley's father Jamie Nold.
Oh but Atlantis is very real, in the Bahamas that is, and Riley got to experience every part of it.
"One day we went on all the water slides, one day we swam with dolphins, one day was just a free day and we went where we wanted." Said Riley Nold.
"It was kind of nice for us and a blessing for us to sit back and watch really a celebration of life and him doing things that kids be able to do just frolick and have fun." Said Tammy Nold.
With the burden of medical bills, it was a trip they never would have been able to afford on their own.
"There are so many good people in this community that step forward to do things for people they don't even know that really makes a difference." Said Tammy Nold.
"Make-A-Wish is just a great place that helps kids and they've done a very good job and thank you." Said Riley Nold.
Physically, Riley's heart works twice as hard just to keep up, but his warm smile and wonderful laugh, are proof this 10-year old has a heart of gold.
Riley's condition is on-going and he will have to have another surgery when he gets to high school. But Riley has an amazing attitude and says he wants to become a doctor to better understand his condition and help others just like him.
On Thursday, February 28th, KSFY News is partnering with Make-A-Wish and their "Wishes in Flight Campaign. All day, KSFY viewers can donate their unused airline miles to help offset travel expenses and grant wishes for children and their families.
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