Drum set a hit with Make-A-Wish recipient

Drum set a hit with Make-A-Wish recipient

By: Laura Mabry

By: Laura Mabry

By: Laura Mabry

HOMER – In Dallas Shaw's world, drums trump doctor's orders every time.

"Music is life," the elated Homer 18-year-old said Saturday after receiving his dream drum set – just like the one Led Zeppelin's drummer used – from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Although Shaw has had multiple surgeries as he has coped with congenital heart disease, he hasn't let his medical condition keep him from his passion.

"I was supposed to wait three months to play my drums, but I only waited a few days," Shaw said of a recent surgery to replace the battery in the pacemaker that regulates his heartbeat.

Shaw's mother, Kelly, isn't surprised.

"If he had to take it easy, he wouldn't," she said of her son having to avoid contact sports and other activities that could stress his heart. "He found other outlets. He found music."

She's thrilled her son won't have to play on the "misfit set" of drums he used until Saturday.

Although she and Shaw have endured trying medical times over the years, she said that simply became their way of life.

"Every minute, every second, I was on alert. Something just takes over and says, 'This is it,'" she said. "We didn't ask, 'Why us?' We have been fighting this together for a long time."

Marilyn Mastny and her husband, Fred, have been involved with Make-A-Wish for about two years. The organization grants wishes to children who face life-threatening illnesses. Volunteers are always needed, especially in the Danville and Kankakee areas right now.

Granting wishes can be emotional.

"The tears don't come from the kids. They come from the parents," Mastny said.

The mother of grown children, she feels for each family she encounters through Make-A-Wish.

"When your child is sick, it's like you want to be sick for them," Mastny said.

Although pizza and visiting with friends and family were a must around lunchtime Saturday, Shaw knew how he intended to spend the rest of his weekend.

"I'm going to tear that thing up," he said of testing the limits of new drum set.

Skins-n-Tins Drum Shop owner Terry Hawkins ordered Shaw's drums and provided them to Make-A-Wish at a greatly reduced rate. He was happy to help Shaw.

"Look at that smile on his face. That says it all," Hawkins said.

Others were happy to help, too. Charlie's Grubbs & Suds and Sweet Tooth Supply, Inc., both of Homer, donated the food for Saturday's party.

It did take a while for Saturday's wish-granting to sink in.

"It's insane. I can't believe it," Shaw said, beaming at his new drums. "It doesn't even feel like they're mine."

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