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Oldham's Clay Misar receives his dream planetarium via the Make-A-Wish Foundation

After multiple hospital stays, blood infections, dialysis, a medically induced coma, and a bone-marrow transplant from his 7-year-old brother, Clay is finally in remission and ready to go back to school to be with his friends.

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Clay Misar in his new observatory granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Cassie Williams / Mitchell Republic
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OLDHAM, S.D. – Make-A-Wish granted Clay Misar an observatory as his Wish after a long, two-year battle with an aggressive form of leukemia.

Event coordinator, Joe Evenson, revealed Clay’s planetarium Wednesday as friends and family gathered to watch the 15-year-old’s reaction.

Since May 2020, Clay has battled acute myelocytic leukemia, an aggressive form of cancer that attacks the blood and bone marrow and causes an excess of immature white blood cells.

At the peak of the pandemic, Clay was in the middle of chemotherapy and was unable to visit with friends or family. This never stopped his classmates from sending cards or messages, and it certainly didn’t stop Clay’s optimistic outlook that he would beat cancer.

After multiple hospital stays, blood infections, dialysis, a medically induced coma, and a bone-marrow transplant from his 7-year-old brother, Clay is finally in remission and ready to go back to school to be with his friends.

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Siblings Cody, Kylee, Clay and Clint in front of Clay's new planetarium.
Cassie Williams / Mitchell Republic

The journey was long and hard, not just on Clay. “Everyone had already said their goodbyes,” Clay’s grandmother, Sylvia, said, tearing up. “It’s a miracle. It’s truly a miracle he’s here.”

Most attribute his recovery to the incredible hospital staff that tended to him in Sioux Falls, but his grandmother said, “It was his stubbornness that helped him pull through. Maybe a better word to describe him is strong-willed,” she laughed.

“He never lost his smile. He was always joking and trying to make everyone laugh. He’s just Clay,” Sylvia said.

Clay wanted a place to hang out and be outside, as he loves the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and star-gazing. He loves to find constellations and thinks the stars are simply fascinating.

“I’ve always loved the stars and having a planetarium would be super cool,” Clay said. “This will give me the ability to explore the universe!”

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Friends and family celebrate Clay's remission and his new observatory.
Cassie Williams / Mitchell Republic

“This is a very unique wish,” Evenson explained to the crowd, “Not a lot of kids want a huge telescope in their backyards.”

Evenson went on to thank the sponsors and partners for the project: South Dart Tournament, Builders FirstSource - Brookings, Knapp Electric, Ludwig Concrete Construction and Alphagraphics.

Grinning from ear-to-ear, she was placed onto her very own “unicorn,” a horse dubbed Elvis who had been painted a variety of bright colors, complete with a horn strapped to his forehead.

But the surprise was worth the journey to get there. Clay’s eyes lit up as soon as he set them on the planetarium, and he couldn’t wait to get behind the giant telescope.

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Included in his Wish was a $1,000 gift card to Wal-Mart so that Clay can decorate the space however he wants.

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Clay thanks sponsors for their part in this project.
Cassie Williams / Mitchell Republic

The huge celebration took place on the Misar’s farm, where Clay bounced from group to group, chatting and laughing, all the while with a huge smile on his face.

Related Topics: SCIENCE
Cassie Williams joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2022. To get in contact with Cassie about potential stories or ideas, feel free to email her at cwilliams@mitchellrepublic.com.
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