The pueblo recently extended its hospitality to a Navarino, Wis., family whose 5-year-old son suffers from acute lymphocytic leukemia ? currently in remission. Zachary Prestby, diagnosed with the disease in late February, was in the Southwest thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Among his surprises was the visit to Cochiti. His father, David, said they were invited by the pueblo as "honored guests ? for a ceremonial prayer service on Sacred Grounds." The tribe held a buffalo dance ceremony and presented the youngster with gifts. The family had enjoyed a 72-hour ride on Amtrak train from Milwaukee to Albuquerque, N.M., because of Zachary's love of trains, to visit to the Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Festival, the world's largest hot air balloon festival. The boy was allowed to blow the horn, see the engineers and signal "all aboard." Amtrak management provided "a ton of memorabilia" and upgraded tickets for grandmothers, aunts and cousins from coach to sleeper cars. At the festival, there were limo rides, police escorts and people wanting Zachary's autograph.
Indian Country Today is a nonprofit news organization. Will you support our work?
All of our content is free. There are no subscriptions or costs. And we have hired more Native journalists in the past year than any news organization ─ and with your help we will continue to grow and create career paths for our people. Support Indian Country Today for as little as $10.