SALT LAKE CITY -- An 8-year-old boy from Bountiful recently took a break from cancer treatments to live out his dream at the Rocky Mountain Raceway alongside the professionals.
And Eli Hill wasn’t just riding with BMX professionals--he got the full celebrity experience, as he signed autographs as part of the event.
Eli Hill took to the track at Rocky Mountain Raceway, and the young boy said he loves doing tricks on his bike. Another trick in his arsenal is beating cancer.
“My mom went to her doctor, and I got a test, and then they told my mom I had leukemia, and then I went to Primary Children's [Hospital],” Eli recalls.
Eli’s diagnosis came in July, and his mother, Jill, said that was shortly after Eli had started doing something he loved.
“We stared getting into BMX biking just before he got diagnosed,” she said.
But that diagnoses meant Eli had to miss out on biking for a while.
“The last nine months he's been through some pretty extensive chemotherapy,” Jill Hill said.
But now, Eli is back on the track. Friday night he was “signed” to a contract, and then he signed autographs for fans. Jonathan Diaz is the founder of the Anything Can Be project, which helped create the professional atmosphere for Eli.
“We're looking to make a dream come true for a young cancer fighter,” he said.
Anything Can Be organized the event as part of their ongoing efforts to fight cancer.
“We set out to create lasting hope for kids who are fighting cancer, and then also raise awareness for pediatric cancer, and so, we use photography to do that,” Diaz said.
Jill Hill said they are grateful for the chance for Eli to shine.
“It’s hard to see your child suffer, and so this means a lot,” she said. “I mean, it’s hard to have people give back to you, but it’s great to see his smile on his face.”
The Anything Can Be project is based in Utah, and they’ve been photographing kids who are fighting cancer for more than a year. They plan to compile the photos into a book that will be released in September.
For more information about Anything Can Be, visit their website.