Twelve wish kids from 10 states will travel to Phoenix
for the big game
PHOENIX (January 21, 2015) – In late January, Make-A-Wish® will welcome 12 passionate football fans with critical illnesses to sunny Phoenix, Ariz., for an unforgettable Super Bowl experience. The wish kids will travel from 10 different states to the Phoenix metropolitan area for their wish to attend the most anticipated football game of the year.
In addition to being the site of Super Bowl XLIX, Phoenix is also the birthplace of Make-A-Wish. It is where, in 1980, a group of caring citizens came together to help grant the wish of a 7-year-old boy with leukemia who wanted to be a police officer. The experience left a lasting impact on the original wish granters, and inspired some of them to start a foundation to grant wishes to other sick kids. Now, 35 years and more than 254,000 wishes later, Make-A-Wish still has its headquarters located in Phoenix and looks forward to hosting the 12 wish kids who will be visiting the country’s sixth largest city for Super Bowl XLIX.
The young football fans and their families will arrive in Phoenix on Wednesday, Jan. 28. They will enjoy a welcome reception and a weekend comprised of visiting Super Bowl Central, the NFL Experience and other activities – including a private tour of the University of Phoenix Stadium – before they watch the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots battle for football supremacy in Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Feb. 2. The wishes are made possible through the generous support of the NFL and others.
“This year marks the 35th anniversary of Make-A-Wish, and although we have blossomed from the first wish in Phoenix to granting 12 wishes at Super Bowl XLIX alone and more than 14,200 wishes last year, the essence of the wish experience has not changed,” said David Williams, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. “Each wish still packs an incredibly powerful dose of hope and optimism that has the ability to make a life-changing impact on the wish kids, their families and everyone involved.”
For the 12 wish kids who will be in Phoenix, the ability to watch professional football’s biggest game in person represents their most heartfelt wish coming true. The experience has the potential to serve as a turning point in wish kids’ medical treatment helping them feel better, and in some cases, even get better.
Wishes to go to the Super Bowl started appearing almost immediately after the founding of Make-A-Wish, beginning with a 12-year-old Arizona boy who attended Super Bowl XVI in Pontiac, Mich., in 1982 – the 9th wish in the organization’s history. Since then, every subsequent Super Bowl has been attended by at least one wish kid, and more than 130 Super Bowl wishes have been fulfilled in the last 10 years alone. Make-A-Wish thanks the NFL for helping make these impactful wishes possible.
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Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Headquartered in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world's leading children's charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 27,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 37 minutes. It has granted more than 254,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,200 in 2014 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at www.wish.org to learn more.
Editor’s Note: Interviews with wish kids and their families prior-to and during their wish may be arranged by contacting Josh deBerge, Senior Manager, National Communications and PR, at email@example.com or (602) 451-4636. Some portions of the itinerary may also be open to press, but permission must be granted in advance. Some user-generated-content, such as photos and videos, from the wish families highlighting their experiences in the Phoenix-area may also be available. Advanced notice is requested.