Meet Cole, his Dream Experience is sure to be a home run!
A quiet, soon-to-be 16-year-old from Mt. Pleasant, NC, Cole is the oldest of four children in the Lumley house. He has two sisters, Taylor and Hannah, and one brother, Bryce, and after just a few minutes with them their sibling bond is unmistakable! Cole was born with a genetic form of kidney disease which has progressed to Stage 4, and he also lives with MODY 5 diabetes. Despite these challenges, Cole is a role model both on and off the field, often helping the younger kids with kidney disease get through their labs. Cole’s youngest sister, Hannah, also has the same genetic kidney disease so Cole is very protective when it comes to helping her manage the ins and outs of living with the disease. Jennifer, Cole’s mom, found out while she was pregnant with him that he would need ongoing care for his disease. Jeff Gordon’s Children’s Hospital placed them with a physician that is still, to this day, providing care for Cole. This relationship has grown very strong over the years and they feel fortunate that she has become like part of their family.
Cole’s helpful nature extends past being there for his family and friends. In fact, he would like to continue caring for others and has a dream of becoming a fireman when he grows up. He will begin taking some of his first classes in fire safety training this fall! Like many other teenagers, Cole loves hanging out with his buddies. When we asked him how he wanted to spend his 16th birthday he replied simply, with friends. Cole also mentioned his love of Japanese food several times when we met him so we are pretty sure we know what will be on the party menu later this month!
Baseball is in Cole’s blood, ever since he was 2 he has been swinging a bat and hitting a ball. The love of baseball runs in the family, and any time a baseball or softball game is on tv, the Lumleys are watching it together. The highlights of this summer? The college softball and baseball World Series! For a while, Cole’s kidney disease prevented him from playing baseball but he has recently been cleared and can’t wait to get back on the field again with his teammates!
Cole has always loved the Boston Red Sox, and his dream is to go to Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox in action! When Cole learned that he had been selected for a Dream Experience he and the rest of the kids realized that they would be traveling by plane for the very first time. So their next question was no surprise, “when do we leave?!”
Thursday, August 11, 2016, Cole was taken by surprise when the Dream Team arrived in a limo at his home! Cole knew he’d been selected as a Dream Recipient but he had no idea what to expect or when his Dream would happen. The Lumley family arrived at the Mt. Pleasant Fire & Rescue station, and with the bay doors open the limo pulled right in to a packed house! Cole stepped out and was surrounded by his family, friends from church and school, a team of firefighters and so many more! Dream On 3 Executive Director, Elizabeth Lindsay, explained to Cole that everyone was there to celebrate
Dream On 3 Executive Director, Elizabeth Lindsay, explained to Cole that everyone was there to celebrate him, that each person present represented his team….and they are all fighting for him! She shared with Cole that his trip to Fenway was going to start the very next day, that he would see TWO Red Sox games that weekend and to top it off, he would meet his sports hero, David Ortiz! Cole’s face was priceless and full of emotion, and the surprises just kept coming. Fire Chief Taylor made Cole an honorary member of the MPFD but only after he suited him up in his custom fire gear complete with a signed helmet from all the firefighters! Shortly after, he got a chance to see what being a firefighter is like when he sprayed the hose, climbed the truck ladder and took a spin around town in the fire truck.
In Boston, Dream Kid Cole visited the aquarium, ate some great food, took a tour of Boston in a Duck Boat (a W.W.II style amphibious landing vehicle) visited Little Italy and had some fun at the splash pad. Of course, the highlight of Boston was Fenway Park…even walking up to the park was surreal for Cole. Prior to the first game Cole watched, he and his family had the chance to spend a little time with David Ortiz. Ortiz will retire after the 2016 season, making it even more special to meet this baseball legend! Cole was excited throughout the Dream Experience, however, after meeting Ortiz there was a permanent smile. When we asked Cole about his trip he said simply, “it was a Dream come true!”
Full-Length Video by Donald Wilson
Photos by Grant Maginnis Photography – click below to view the full album
His sports dream is to go to Fenway Park and see the Red Sox play!
Cole was referred to us by our referral partner, Jeff Gordon’s Children’s Hospital.