LINCOLN — The screaming crowds, security guards, groupies and motorcade at a Lincoln elementary school Wednesday were for an 11-year-old Lincoln boy battling a brain tumor and dreaming of pop stardom.
Cayden Hubbard, a fifth-grader at Maxey Elementary, was called out of class after the morning bell Wednesday to learn that his Make-A-Wish to be a pop star would be granted.
Dozens of photographers, volunteers and family members surrounded him as he walked the red carpet at his school's front entrance into a black stretch Ford Excursion limousine, past hundreds of sign-holding and screaming schoolmates.
He requested and sipped white milk during the limo ride.
“It's a good feeling when the girls go crazy,” said Cayden on the 106.3 KFRX morning show after more than 50 people, including the Nebraska cheerleading squad, welcomed him to the Lincoln radio station.
In addition to his Lincoln radio interview, Cayden made stops at KMTV and 105.9 KKCD in Omaha for interviews and autograph sessions Wednesday.
For Cayden, those stops were just the start. Wednesday afternoon, Cayden and his parents, J ennifer and Carter Hubbard, board a flight to Los Angeles.
There he will record two songs at Red Bull Records studios, receive a makeover at Macy's and visit celebrity interviewer Mario Lopez. Cayden, a lifelong singer and avid Beatles fan, said he's especially excited about the recording session and hopes the trip will boost his chances at music industry fame.
When his family learned of his brain tumor in 2006, they feared the worst, said Cayden's mom, Jennifer. After more than a handful of operations and a year of chemotherapy, Cayden's brain tumor has shrunk considerably, she said.
Both parents called the day's and week's events “amazing.” Jennifer expressed gratitude for volunteers who helped make Cayden's dream a reality. His wish is one of more than 100 Make-A-Wish Nebraska grants each year.
“I'm overwhelmed with all the people who have come out to support someone they don't even know,” she said.
Cayden's older brother, Ryley Hubbard, welcomed the day's events, saying it's something Cayden earned with his fight.
“This kid has been trucking for the past few years, and today he deserves everything that's been coming to him,” said Ryley, 15.
So far, Cayden has embraced newfound stardom after the initial shock made his lip quiver in excitement.
During his KFRX interview, he sang Gym Class Heroes’ “Stereo Hearts,” and, in another TV interview, the LA-bound Lincolnite gave his hometown a shout-out.
“To Lincoln,” he said, “holla back.”
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