Teen fighting life-threatening illness gets a room makeover

9:11 PM, Jun 30, 2012   |    comments
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Oliver Springs teenager, Cody Phillips, dreams of riding his dirt bike again.

Right now, doctor's orders and his oxygen tank only allow him to rev his bike engine once in a while.

But Saturday, he got to take his mind off his illness thanks to the East Tennessee Chapter of the Make a Wish Foundation.

Cody, 16, has pulmonary hypertension, a life-threatening disease that causes heart failure.

Dozens of bikers from the Freedom Riders of Chattanooga surprised him with an escort to take him to the reveal of his brand new room.

"Oh man!" Cody said when he saw his room for the first time. "I like this!"

Cody asked the Make a Wish foundation for a room makeover. It is where he has spent most of his time since his diagnosis more than year ago.

"I'm still hanging in there. Still kicking," he said.

Now, he will be surrounded by his favorite things as battles his disease: a new TV, PlayStation, and all things camouflage.

"I've never had anything like this so it's made me real excited and happy," Cody said.

Along with autographed motocross gear, Cody also got a personal message from his favorite driver, Ryan Villapoto, encouraging him to keep up the fight.

"That text message was awesome," he said.

"Granting a wish isn't just a feel good thing. There have been studies we done across all the chapters that found that we are a part of their medical care," said Bob Lewis, CEO of the Make a Wish Foundation's East Tennessee Chapter.

Cody says this was the extra boost he needed, so he can one day get back on his bike and be a teenager again.

"I'm going to keep pushing. I want to be like him [Villapoto] so hopefully I will be wearing one of those jerseys and be on a poster like that," he said.

Cody is waiting for a lung transplant, but because he has a rare blood type, his doctors say it could be difficult to find.

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