By Kevin Fox
It was recently released that Lane Burr, a 5th grade student at Black Hawk from Luray would be receiving his wish from “Make A Wish” in St. Louis. It was learned last year that the young man had cancer and since that time has undergone treatments that no one should have to endure, least of all a child. Lane’s doctors and nurses at the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis after getting to know and love Lane shared his story with the officials with “Make A Wish”.
In granting his wish, Carol Tilley, a Make a Wish, Wish Grantor stated, “We were very impressed with Lane. He is an 11-year-old boy battling cancer. His family owns a farm where he has birthed lambs and can tell you which of the 75 cattle they raise have given birth, when, and which calves belong to each. Lane has his own working farm in his backyard that is his sole responsibility. He has a few chickens and lambs, and he asked his parents if he could have a Heifer. They said they couldn’t afford it, and Lane asked how he could borrow money. His parents told him that he would need to borrow from a bank, so Lane took it upon himself to call four banks, and one of them has agreed to lend him the money. He will be repaying the loan through chores, selling and trading livestock, etc. He is already working on plans to purchase land for his own farm in the future. All of this while battling cancer. He is basically uninterested in video games, TV, music, and all the other typical pre-teen paraphernalia. He just wants to tend to his farm. His parents said everyone who knows Lane says he is a man in a child’s body. The Make-A-Wish Foundation asked this boy if he would like to make owning a Heifer his first wish, but he declined and reluctantly made it his second wish. He actually would like having the responsibility of obtaining the loan and purchasing this animal on his own. In a day where most children feel entitled to whatever they can get handed to them, Lane is a breath of fresh air. Anything you could do to enrich his life would be well deserved.”
This past week this reporter was honored to speak with Lane and our first question was, what was his wish. “I asked to go to Florida to Walt Disney World because I heard it was a lot of fun. So my family will be going on August 27th for a week and I will actually celebrate my birthday there, which they also make a big deal about. I am excited about going there and seeing everything and riding all the rides.” Lane is the son of Toby & Becky Burr. He also has a brother Owen and a sister Tressa. Now aside from his battle this past year, Lane is pretty normal for a rural farm boy. He loves working on the farm and with all the many animals that his family has. Lane also enjoys school and being with his friends. His favorite subjects are Math and Physical Education. He is also very active in the Fox River Clover Leafs 4-H Club where he has been a member for four years. Lane is involved in a variety of projects. He is really looking forward to the fair this year and showing a heifer that he plans on purchasing, although he hasn’t settled on a breed yet. (On Friday, March 19th a heifer had been donated. Lane is still thinking about financing the purchase of another heifer to start his own herd!) His 4-H leader is Trudi Baker.
When asked about his illness (Hodgkins Lymphoma) Lane said he found out on September 18th, 2009. He had not been feeling well and just felt tired all the time. But he is feeling a lot better now. When asked if he is angry about being sick, Lane said, “No, cause if I hadn’t got sick I would never had met those nice doctors and nurses in St. Louis. They are all very nice to me. There’s nothing to be mad about!
Lane’s mother Becky stated, Hodgkins Lymphoma is very hard to detect, but looking back on last year we can now see where Lane was getting sick. He was tired a great deal of the time, and on occasion ran a low-grade fever, and he also complained of stomach pains. Unfortunately, we now know more about the disease and its treatment than we ever wanted to. Lane knows all about his treatment and in fact he will remind his nurses when something needs to be done. But Lane is doing better now and he is a great patient and he loves the staff at Cardinal Glennon, they are just great and we have a special relationship with them and have even gone out to supper with some of the staff. They were the ones who submitted his name to Make A Wish, when he started responding positively to his treatment.”