Make-A-Wish recipient, volunteer publishes book to give back to foundation, help sick kids
A Trumbull native has gone from Make-A-Wish recipient to Make-A-Wish volunteer, and now Cory Metz can add author to the list.
Cory Metz, 30, just wrote a book titled "More than a Wish: My Life and Stories from the Make-A-Wish Foundation." All sales go to the nonprofit. The book shares his health journey and the immense impact Make-A-Wish has had on his life both as a teen and an adult.
Cory Metz had his wish granted in 2009 with a trip to the MLB All-Star Game in St. Louis, where he got to meet his favorite player, David Wright.
"I would say it was easily the greatest weekend of my life," he told News 12.
"That wish was life changing for him to this day. He wants to give back to other kids who've been through what he's been through," said his mom, Cynthia Metz.
He's now been a volunteer with Make-A-Wish, helping grant wishes for the past seven years. He said the book is another way to give back.
"The most important thing is wish kids read this book, and they have a brighter perspective on what they can do with their lives," Cory Metz told News 12.
"He wanted to inspire other sick children that, 'You're going to get through it. And there's life being sick. There's life after being sick. And you know, life is different, but it's still ok," added Cynthia Metz.
Cory Metz's life changed in an instant as an eighth grader in 2004.
"They discovered there was a tumor on my spinal cord, and I had surgery to remove the spinal cord tumor," Cory Metz said.
The surgery initially left him paralyzed. Over time he gained movement in his legs but was still physically disabled.
"Before that surgery, I was perfectly healthy. I was playing baseball. I was playing basketball. I was doing normal things teenagers do, and now I was disabled. It was tough to adjust so going into high school -- that was a tough time for me," Cory Metz recalled.
"It was a whirlwind, but we got through it," Cynthia Metz said. "I thought, 'Wow. The worst part of my son's life is over. We made it through.'"
Four years later, during his senior year at Fairfield Prep, a brain tumor put him on life support. He's had two surgeries since.
"Now he has a shunt in his brain. He still has brain tumors. He still has spinal cord tumors. Every six months he goes for MRIs to monitor them," Cynthia Metz said.
Those continued health struggles didn't deter Cory Metz from writing his life story. He said at the heart of it is a message for anyone with an illness or disability.
"It shouldn't stop you from being who you are," he said.