Dinosaur digging dreams come true for kid through Make-A-Wish

Harley Wells and his family with a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at the paleontology lab
Harley Wells and his family with a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at the paleontology lab(KFYR)
Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 5:46 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Seven-year-old Harley Wells and his family are in North Dakota for the very first time. They’re hoping to make Harley’s dreams of digging up a dinosaur come true.

Harley knows a lot about dinosaurs.

“A mosasaurus tooth would be the size of this,” Harley said holding up his fingers about an inch apart.

Because North Dakota is famous for its fossil reserves, the state was the perfect place to make Harley’s Make-A-Wish come true.

“Non-stop talking about it. We’ve been counting down the days on the calendar. We were writing it down. He is ecstatic,” said Harley’s mother Jessica Wells.

Harley was diagnosed with leukemia in May 2020.

“They put us in a room for a month and a half that didn’t have any windows and you couldn’t leave the room because of the pandemic and all the restrictions. We pretty much lived in the hospital,” said Harley’s father Harland Wells.

The good news is that Harley is in remission. But there may be another Make-A-Wish in store for five-year-old sister Isabelle who has a heart condition.

“We kind of have to go through it twice,” said Harland.

The behind-the-scenes sneak peek at the paleontology lab is the highlight of the trip so far. Isabelle said she was excited to feel the fossils.

The family is hopeful these aren’t the only fossils they’ll spot. Harley and his family are ready for a real dig Friday.

“I’ve been watching videos of them digging out bones,” said Harley.

“It’s cool that we can, like, watch a movie. But this is like you’re there. You’re doing it all. I just don’t want to break anything,” laughed Jessica.

The family’s abuzz with excitement.

“Saying, ‘Hey, I helped dig that up.’ It’s kind of exciting,” said Harland.

“I’ll actually look for anything like bison, a triceratops, or a mosasaurus,” said Harley.

The dig on Friday is sure to be an adventure of mammoth proportions.

Make a Wish North Dakota regional director Amanda Godfread says while the organization often sends kids out of state, Harley is the fourth kid to ever travel to North Dakota as part of a wish.

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