Hero In The Making: Josh Peterson

Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Woodbury native Josh Peterson has spent nearly half his life a Timberwolves fan. Through much of that time, the 11-year-old has battled medical obstacles that have put him through countless surgeries and chemotherapy sessions.

On Wednesday at Target Center, the Wolves got a chance to honor the 11-year-old for his courage and strength.

Peterson was recognized as Wednesday’s Hero In The Making, part of the FastBreak Foundation’s WolvesCare initiative. During eight home games in January, the Wolves will tell the story of a child battling a life-threatening or long-term illness. Kids like Peterson will get a chance to take in a Timberwolves game from a suite, meet their favorite players and get honored on the court in front of the Target Center crowd.

Timberwolves President Chris Wright and team mascot Crunch joined him at center court for a mid-game ceremony during Wednesday’s game against Memphis. For Peterson, who was the first Hero recognized this month, it was a day to remember.

“It was an awesome experience to go out there,” Peterson said.

Peterson was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor at Hydrocephalus in 2006. He lost most of his vision, and over the next 18 months he had four surgeries and 150 doses of chemotherapy.

In April 2011, his tumor began growing bigger and he started chemo again. Currently, he’s had five surgeries and nearly 200 doses of chemotherapy. In November, Peterson’s dad was deployed to Kuwait for a six-month tour.

Through it all, Peterson has maintained straight A’s in fifth grade, is a peer mentor and the president of his school’s student council.

Peterson’s mom, Leah, said seeing her son recognized at Target Center was an emotional experience.

“I was very overwhelmed,” Leah said. “We are very proud of Josh. He’s been through a lot.”

Peterson’s favorite Wolves are forward Kevin Love and guard Ricky Rubio, so there’s no doubt in Leah’s mind what his favorite part of the night was.

“I think meeting Kevin Love was a pretty big deal,” Leah said.

WolvesCare Month is presented by C.H. Robinson Worldwide. Throughout January both inside and outside of Target Center, WolvesCare will work to make a difference in the lives of courageous children like Peterson.

Peterson said it was cool having the crowd clap and cheer during his ceremony at center court, and Leah said the chance to share it with his family and friends was a big deal to him.

“Just having everybody here,” Leah said. “He loves having all his friends around and celebrating with him. I think that’s been pretty cool.”

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