Of all the books he's read and all the fictional people he's met, the most beloved character in the mind of 12-year-old Hayden Kelly is someone who as cuddly as a cactus and as charming as an eel.
Meeting the Grinch made Hayden's heart real.
Hayden suffers from pulmonary and neurological conditions and uses a wheelchair. That means there are a few things he couldn't do, which is why Make A Wish determined to make his dream come true.
When Hayden arrived at his Ballston Spa Middle School gym, he knew right away it had been decorated, especially for him.
The Grinch is his favorite, his friends knew it well. When he got to Whoville, he knew it was swell.
"Hayden absolutely loves it," said Kristine Kelly, Hayden's mother. "It was a great surprise and experience of it all. Definitely heartwarming, definitely teared up a couple of times."
His friends and his family came along, and classmates in costume were wearing songs. The Mayor of Whoville read Seusical rhymes, and all in attendance were sharing merry old times.
"I love him very much, and I hope he has fun," said Jeremy Weldon, Heydon's cousin.
"I was able to tell friends, but I wasn't able to tell my brother because it was a surprise," said Hunter McIntyre, Hayden's brother.
For those who associate the Grinch with stealing Christmas and for committing a crime, you need to know that this Christmas was made possible for Hayden, who had a magical time.
"This is beyond what we thought," said Justin Kelly, Hayden's father. "Very difficult because he's so persistent. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity for him and I couldn't be more happy."
This is a first for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Never before has someone wanted to go to Whoville.