Cleveland man battling cancer since age 6 makes bucket list trip to White House

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CLEVELAND-- It was the trip of a lifetime.

Mark Hamilton and his family traveled from Cleveland to Washington, D.C. to tour the White House.

"I created a bucket list. And on my bucket list, I always wanted to meet Beyoncé, Oprah Winfrey," Hamilton said.

He also wanted to meet President Barack Obama. The President wasn’t home during his visit, but Hamilton said it was still an honor to be granted this wish.

It's one of the many items on the 26-year-old’s bucket list, thanks to A Special Wish Foundation, who reached out to State Representative Martin J. Sweeney and U.S Representative Marcy Kaptur who helped arrange the VIP White House tour.

At just 6 years old, Hamilton was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. He’s been in and out of the hospital for the last 20 years, had 18 surgeries, and has to endure taking dozens of medications daily.

Last summer, he was given just six months to live.

"I'm a cool, calm and collected type of guy. So, I just pray for peace and try to be mellow, you know. Everybody got a death date. Some know it and some don't know the date," Hamilton said.

A lot of his strength can be attributed to his mother, Monica Brentson, who has been his hospice care nurse, strongest supporter and prayer partner.

"We all have a death date, but we don't know when, where and how. This affords Mark the opportunity to really take advantage and hone in on a relationship that he has with Christ," Brentson said.

"She set the tone for my drive, and for me not to just sit down and allow this disease to take away everything that makes me myself," Hamilton said.

Hamilton has a sense of fashion and love for music. He recently recorded a gospel song called, “Doing 100 with the Brakes On!” Perhaps a metaphor for his life.

"If I'm walking, taking a walk, I really like to take the walk, smell the trees, enjoy the wind, count the steps. Really enjoy life."