In October 2015, Jagger and his family received the life-changing news that he had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
“He became very sick very fast and we were unsure of what would happen next,” said Jagger’s mom, Amanda.
It was during treatment that Jagger was referred to Make-A-Wish Arizona.
For Jagger’s family, finding out he qualified for a wish was initially hard to process.
“At first, we didn’t know Make-A-Wish was for more than terminally ill children,” said Amanda. “To hear that Jagger qualified for this wish somewhat scared us until we understood the true mission statement of Make-A-Wish.”
But their fears were soon put to rest. In meeting with his volunteer wish granters, Jagger went over all the options but as a huge NASCAR fan, he knew he had one chance to really make his wish take the flag.
“I wished to meet three-time NASCAR Spring Cup Series champion, Tony Stewart,” said Jagger.
Jagger’s love for Tony Stewart and NASCAR started when he was just a little kid, and only continued to grow over the years.
“He is my hero,” said Jagger. “To find out I was actually going to meet him made me so excited.”
From there, Jagger was driving the road to excitement as he anxiously anticipated this once in a lifetime experience.
The trip was all planned for Jagger and his family to go see Tony in his last race in November of 2016 when Jagger’s health took a turn for the worse.
“Jagger was in the hospital for 22 days straight,” said Amanda. “It was the longest hospital stay he had ever had; it was a nightmare.”
During this hard time, Amanda received a call from their volunteer wish granter, Torrie, telling her the trip had been moved up to October so that Jagger could have the opportunity to meet Tony Stewart sooner.
“Knowing I was going to meet my role model so soon gave me something to focus on. Knowing the trip was still happening really helped me through my treatment and gave me the motivation to get better,” said Jagger.
Jagger and his family headed off to Charlotte, North Carolina, where they would now watch Tony race. The family met Tony outside his RV.
“Tony was very down to earth and acted like any ordinary person,” said Jagger. “We were all very nervous at first to meet him, but he made us all feel so comfortable.”
Jagger spent 40 minutes with Tony talking about racing, dogs, and his journey.
“Tony gave me a big box full of gifts including a jacket, a wool blanket, a collector car, and a hat. He joked to me saying not to give them away to my girlfriends,” Jagger said with a laugh.
While in Charlotte, Jagger and his family had the chance to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Hendrix Motorsports Facilities, the Sea Life Aquarium, and tour the NASCAR race tracks.
“We were given the behind the scenes tour by Adam Alexander, who has a NASCAR show and is an announcer,” said Amanda. “He was very sweet and pushed Jagger in his wheel chair for him.”
“This trip was the uplifting experience we needed as a family after everything we had been going through,” said Amanda. “It allowed us to forget about the hardships and grow closer together.”
While Jagger continues to face different challenges with his health and is currently in maintenance treatment, looking back on this trip with his family helps him stay strong.
“This trip was a dream come true and something I will never forget,” said Jagger.