Many people have likely hired a magician for corporate events, idly watched a street performer’s card tricks, or even attended an awe-inspiring stage show. However, none of these experiences could possibly match the experience 10-year-old Aiden Davis recently had in Las Vegas: famed magician David Copperfield recently flew Davis, who has terminal cancer, and his family to the world’s entertainment capital for a tour and a show.
Aiden was diagnosed with cancer at age 3, but his illness only became terminal when it spread to his pelvis. When he learned about this unfortunate change, Aiden said he only had three wishes: a party for his fourth grade class, a sleepover with one of his friends, and the chance to see Copperfield perform in Vegas. As a result, friends of the Davis family overwhelmed the illusionist with Facebook and Twitter messages until he agreed to fly the Bradford, PA family to Vegas.
When the Davis family arrived, however, Copperfield didn’t just save them a seat at his show: after noting Aiden’s interest in the stretch limos he saw around town, Copperfield gave the family a tour in one of the luxurious vehicles. At one point, the magician even posed with the family in front of the Las Vegas sign, something he said he had never done in all of his time in Vegas. He then took the Davises on a giant observation wheel and showed them his private collection of magic artifacts.
During the show, Copperfield’s hospitality mixed pleasantly with his showmanship: he sat Aiden in the middle of the audience in a director’s chair with his name on it, informing the audience that the boy’s presence made the night “very special.” He then performed a levitation trick with a Kleenex, making it seem as if Aiden was controlling it simply by pointing. Next, Copperfield fashioned the tissue into a flower and lit it on fire, turning it into a rose for Aiden’s mother. After the show, Copperfield also invited Aiden backstage, where he met the crew and learned to pop a balloon by waving his arms, an act that brought his father to tears.
Copperfield’s charitable actions have drawn praise from the magic community, especially given Aiden’s clear passion for tricks and illusions.
“When we think about the roots of magic, it goes back so much further than just pure entertainment,” says Kevin Viner, Mentalist/Magician. “In its earliest days, ‘witch doctors’ performed healing rituals, some of which are the first examples of the placebo effect recorded. It’s proven that somebody’s psychological state can have immediate impact on their physical state, so I think that we need to remember part of our job is to help make everybody feel just a bit better, even if only by a small percentage.”
However, in a video he shared about Aiden’s visit, it was Copperfield who seemed touched.
“Aiden inspires us with all his strength, courage and perseverance,” he remarked. “His vibrant spirit allows us to see things in a new, wonderful way. What an amazing gift.”