Meet the young boy responsible for designing this year's Macc Star. Video by tmj4.comvideo
A little boy from Waukesha County can add professional artist to his list of talents.
This year, his artwork adorns the MACC Star holiday ornament.
We spent an afternoon with the talented 9-year-old Noah Polzin. He draws, paints, plays piano, dances... and he's beating cancer.
He first got sick two years ago, dad Ryan Polzin told us.
Noah was at the park when he passed out. "Trying to figure out what he ate that day, was in low blood sugar, was he just tired, did he get sleep the night before?"
Medical tests confirmed the worst. Noah had leukemia. Ryan will never forget that day.
"When you're in that room and they mention that to you, of course you think the worst case scenario, what do I start doing now, you go into that state of denial and you don't understand what's going on and you don't get why you're the one with the child that has this."
But dad Ryan's denial ended immediately as he rushed Noah into treatment with the doctor's positive words echoing in his head. "Before you hear anything else, I want you to hear that this is curable," is what he said the doctor told him.
Noah has ALL, cancer of the white blood cells. It's the most common childhood cancer. Curable... But tough.
Forty years ago, only 5% of kids with ALL lived for 5 years after diagnosis. Today that number is 85%.
Noah missed all of second grade going through treatment. Fluids... Intense chemotherapy... Exhaustion. But then, great news. He was in full remission.
Noah still gets tired but is back in school and enjoying all his favorite activities, including art. This year he is honored to be chosen to design the MACC Star.
His design features penguins, his favorite animal. Noah worked for hours designing the MACC Star to make sure it included everything special and important in his life. "So this is the music because I like playing piano, this is the Nutcracker for ballet, this is the heart for friends and family, this 33 here is for the 33 years of the MACC Fund, then this penguin is a doctor because the doctors and nurses helped me," he showed us.
"The concept, where things went and the actual drawing was all him," Ryan Polzin said. "He's phenomenal. His talents with music and drawing, he's just a great kid to have."
Noah has one year left of treatments. Then after two more years, he'll be considered "cured." That's his family's favorite word these days.
"It's just an ongoing battle, until they can vaccinate against it you just hope they can cure it," Ryan said emotionally.
And until then... they hope Noah will continue to fill his world... and ours... with his art.
The MACC Star costs $10 and is available at Balistreri Sendiks, Quality Candy and Buddy Squirrel.