11-year-old gets wish granted to be astronaut for a day

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CLEVELAND  - One Amherst boy got the trip of a lifetime as "Cleveland's Astronaut for a Day."

"I got to fly around and explore you know what the universe looks like," said 11-year-old Jacob Heberling.

Thanks to a Special Wish Cleveland, Jacob got to experience life as an astronaut and geologist. His family toured the Museum of Natural History, The Great Lakes Science Center and even NASA's Glenn Research Center. According to officials at Glenn, Jacob is the first child to receive a hands-on tour of the facility.

"Be fun and exciting and something I never thought I could do," said Jacob. "It's awesome really fun."

The whirlwind Tuesday follows years of a painful disease.

"It was very scary," said his mom Kyle Heberling. "He's our only child and he's the love of our life."

At just nine years old Jacob suffered a stroke and was diagnosed with a rare heart disease called Restrictive Cardiomyopathy.

Jacob's family was told surgery could not restore his heart function. One year later in August 2015 Jacob received a heart transplant.

"I didn't leave his side, I was with him every day, every night," said Kyle.

Today Jacob is healthy and strong, eagerly looking forward to growing up and accomplishing his dream.

"He wants to go to Mars," said Kyle. "He wants to be the first person on Mars, he loves geology the study of rocks and minerals. So this is like a dream come true."

To learn more about A Special Wish Cleveland click here. 

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