Viral news story inspires generous offer for Oklahoma student with special needs

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EDMOND, Okla. – An Oklahoma teenager who is in the fight of his life got a big – and magical – surprise.

Last year, Teague Niebrugge was diagnosed with an incurable disease. He has just one wish, and a twist of fate opened the door to a dream come true.

News 4 first brought you Teague’s story on Halloween last year, and it aired around the country, paving the way for an opportunity the family will never forget.

Teague is blind – he lost his sight years ago. It was the first symptom of Batten Disease and the first clue for doctors something was terribly wrong.

The news story caught the eye of pediatric specialists in Memphis, Tennessee.

“We found out (Teague’s story) aired in cities across the United States,” said Teague’s mom, Joey Niebrugge. “We have family in Memphis. Teague has a cousin. The story aired there, and her boss saw the story and realized that it was her cousin.”

Sarah Karnish is a pediatric dentistry resident at the University of Memphis.

Karnish’s boss was so touched by Teague’s story that the university gifted the entire family a trip to Harry Potter World.

“They saw a family that was going through a very difficult time, and they wanted to be able to do something,” Karnish said. “This was their way of reaching out.”

Karnish flew home to Oklahoma to give Teague the good news.

“They really wanted to provide something for him to enjoy,” Karnish said. “So, that, to me, is incredible that they would do that for them.”

The family was shocked by the generous offer. They spent a magical week at Universal Studios’ Harry Potter World.

Teague’s favorite activities were wand shopping and butterbeer tasting.

Teague selected a “Nimbus 2000” broomstick, “because Harry has a Nimbus 2000.”

And, to bring the whole thing full-circle, one of Teague’s teachers at Deer Creek Middle School has a son who works at Universal Studios. He rolled out the red carpet for Teague complete with V.I.P. treatment all three days in the park.

“It was just the most spectacular experience,” Joey said. “It was a one-on-one at the wand shop just for him. Then, a butterbeer tasting of every kind of butterbeer: regular butterbeer, frozen butterbeer, hot butterbeer, butterbeer fudge, butterbeer ice cream.”

It was an enchanting vacation for Harry Potter’s biggest fan.

Just like Harry Potter, Teague has touched the hearts of kind people around the world. He is proof that happiness can be found even in the darkest of times.

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