Local News

Boy battling cancer fulfills dream of becoming paleontologist

Posted June 27
Updated June 28

— Six-year-old Riley Voss has always loved dinosaurs and wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Science

When Riley was diagnosed with an aggressive form of pediatric cancer that is typically considered terminal, his family was determined to make every day count.

"All he knows is he has a boo boo in his head, and we told him we are doing all we can to make it better," said Ashley Voss, Riley' mom.

When scientists at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science heard about Riley, they opened up their lab and made the dinosaur-loving boy a paleontologist for a day.

"He wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up and he talks about doing that all the time," said Voss. "He's even pretended to be a professor teaching people about dinosaurs. We know, realistically, that's not something in his future"

North Carolina Museum of Natural Science

With wide-eyed wonder, Riley seemed to be lost in his own world of T-rexes and Triceratops. On this day, Riley could be the paleontologist he wants to be.

"It just made my heart," Voss said. "It's hard to put into words how it made me feel because it means so much to me."

Riley was diagnosed with cancer last November.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Science

Voss said gestures the one from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, as well as the support of family and friends, has helped them in this journey.

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