PHOENIX (February 2, 2016) – A team of super fans from Make-A-Wish®, in the form of 13 kids with life-threatening medical conditions, will soon descend upon San Francisco for their wish to attend Super Bowl 50. The wishes are made possible through the generous support of the NFL and others.
The young football fans and their families are traveling from 11 states and Canada, and will arrive in San Francisco on Thursday, Feb. 4. They will enjoy a welcome reception and a weekend of visiting the NFL Experience, a stadium tour, visits by former NFL stars, and more before the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers face off at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 7.
"Super Bowl 50 promises a weekend full of unforgettable experiences and memories for our wish kids and their families,” said David A. Williams, president and chief executive officer of Make-A-Wish America. “Through these wishes, the NFL is helping us change the lives of these kids battling serious illnesses and everyone else involved in the wishes, forever."
Wishing to attend the Super Bowl is a wish that continues to transcend generations. This year marks the 34th consecutive year that a wish kid will be present at the Super Bowl. For the wish kids who will be in attendance, attending the Super Bowl represents their one, heartfelt wish; however, the positive impact of a wish-come-true begins long before kickoff. Wish kids often say the anticipation of their wish helps them find strength to continue medical treatments and the memories of the experience itself serve as a constant source of hope and joy. The NFL, by continuously demonstrating support for Make-A-Wish, helps to make these long-lasting, impactful experiences possible.
Make-A-Wish, the NFL, and Super Bowl wishes have a long history. In 1982, the NFL helped Make-A-Wish grant its first Super Bowl wish to John Paul Serna, a 12-year-old Arizona boy, at Super Bowl XVI in Pontiac, Mich., the 9th wish in the organization’s young history. Since then, every Super Bowl has been attended by at least one wish kid; totally nearly 200 Super Bowl wishes since John Paul’s wish 34 years ago.
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Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. 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 28,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 35 minutes. It has granted more than 270,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,800 in 2015 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 Casey Thompson, national communications specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (602) 577-9353. Some user-generated-content, such as photos, from the wish families highlighting their experiences in San Francisco may also be available. Advanced notice is requested.