JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Colten Romines is 13 years old and a student at Brookland Junior High School. He’s a young man on a mission.
Friday afternoons, you’ll find him delivering food for students at risk of going without something to eat over the weekend.
Then, there’s that fundraising challenge he extended to his sister’s elementary school.
“So I did a deal that if her school would raise $8,000 for Make-A-Wish, which was their set goal,” Colten said, “I would top the fundraiser and let them cut off my ponytail.”
He’s been growing his hair out for his sister’s school fundraiser because he knows just how important wishes are.
“It was just amazing!,” Colten said. A year and a half ago, Colten learned he was going all the way to Canada to see his favorite TV show.
“It was like the best day of life, literally,” Colten said. He remembers it like yesterday.
“Colten, you’re wish has been granted,” a sign read.
“I don’t have enough thank you’s for that,” Carrie Romines, Colten’s mother, said.
Carrie, a teacher at the junior high school, was a little hesitant at first upon hearing Colten was eligible for a wish.
“We just weren’t ready because it feels like it’s the final chapter,” Carrie said. “And it’s so much more than that. It’s just the beginning. It’s just the prelude of what is yet to come.”
Colten and his entire family left the same day as his wish-granting for Memphis.
“We left about an hour after we got home,” Colten explained.
Before he knew it, the whole family was in Vancouver, Canada.
“He loves watching super heroes,” Carrie said.
But, Colten didn’t just watch his favorite TV show.
“They say how enthusiastic he was and they wanted to put him behind the camera,” Carrie said.
“There’s like a 15-second clip somewhere in the TV show where I directed,” Colten said.
Moments like these for Colten are priceless.
He was born with half of a working heart.
“If you’re going to have half a heart that works, he doesn’t have the good side, Carrie said.
It’s a miracle he survived past birth. His condition wasn’t discovered until seven days later.
“If we had waited for our newborn check-up, the hole in his heart would have closed and we would have lost him in his sleep,” Carrie said.
“I have no left ventricle,” Colten said.
Several surgeries later.
“We’re blind in one eye,” Carrie said.
“When they did one of my surgeries, they paralyzed one of my vocal cords,” Colten said.
“We have liver and stomach issues,” Carrie explained of Colten’s many medical issues.
“It’s cool,” Colten said. “It makes me different.”
Colten isn’t bothered.
“There’s been a lot of peaks and valleys,” Carrie said.
He just keeps his eye on the target… living life to the fullest.
“The valleys are deep,” Carrie said. “But the mountain is well worth the climb and the view.”
Thanks to Make-A-Wish, Colten realized a dream.
“There could not have been a more truer wish granted for him.” Carrie said.
“I guess it opened my eyes a little, or a lot actually,” Colten said.
“It was the right time and it was just what Colten needed,” Carrie said. “It was that little bit of renewed faith that our whole family needed to know that we’re just beginning and it’s all because of the people in this community that made this happen for us,” Carrie said.