Those are the sports-themed wishes granted by Make-A-Wish in collaboration with the seventh-annual ESPN “My Wish” series, airing Sunday, July 15 and running through the week.
The summer series profiles wishes coming true for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Each segment takes viewers on an in-depth and often emotional journey into the children’s lives, medical conditions, the wish-reveal, and the transformative experiences with their favorite athletes.
Emmy Award-winning reporter Chris Connelly will again host with participation from the following wish-granters:
As part of the “My Wish” series, Donovan, a 10 year old who suffers from sickle cell anemia, met his favorite football player, DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles. As part of his wish, Donovan and his family traveled to the NovaCare Center in Philadelphia where they were greeted by DeSean Jackson carrying a personalized Eagles jersey for Donovan. He had the opportunity to watch the team practice before heading onto the field to run a few practice drills. Donovan even scored a touchdown which he celebrated with “DeSean’s touchdown dance.” Michael Vick also got in on the fun by throwing Donovan a few running passes. After practice was complete, Donovan was brought back into the team’s film room where DeSean and Coach Bobby April showed Donovan how the Eagles’ games are analyzed each week. DeSean and Coach April then proceeded to view and analyze Donovan’s punt return from the practice drills. The day concluded with a trip to DeSean’s recording studio where DeSean and Donovan were able to record a few songs together.
"It's great to be back for our seventh season of My Wish,” says Connelly. “From the beginning, it's always been a privilege for me just to step into the homes of these families and hear their powerful stories. It's impossible not to be moved by these parents' love and dedication and belief in the face of the unthinkable -- the life-threatening illness of a child. Once again, we have terrific young people to introduce you to this year, along with the athletes who fulfill their really heartwarming wishes and put some unforgettable smiles on their faces."
“The My Wish series allows viewers to see firsthand the power and impact that a wish has on each wish kid we serve,” said David A. Williams, Make-A-Wish America president and chief executive officer. “Join us in watching the connection that grows between these kids and their favorite athletes. The support and dedication that ESPN puts into sharing each story matches our vision of granting the wish of every eligible child.”
Each wish will be the subject of a SportsCenter feature segment beginning Sunday morning, July 15 with a new piece to premier every day that week. Each feature will also be available at ESPN.com following its original air date.
To get the full story of Donovan’s wish, please tune in to ESPN’s SportsCenter Tuesday, July 17 at 3 p.m. EST.
About Team ESPN
Team ESPN encompasses ESPN’s multi-faceted corporate outreach initiatives, including volunteerism, corporate giving and cause marketing, while utilizing its diverse media assets. Through Team ESPN, ESPN employees and fans work together to make a difference in our world and the communities in which we live. ESPN has funded and volunteered for numerous projects in the Bristol community. Team ESPN’s slogan is Fans Helping Fans®. For more information, please visit: www.teamespn.com
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. With the help of generous donors and over 30,000 volunteers worldwide, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the world every 23 minutes and has granted over 280,000 wishes since its inception in 1980. The Georgia Chapter of Make-A-Wish has granted over 5,000 wishes locally and has over 600 children waiting for their most heartfelt wishes to come true. To learn more, visit www.ga-al.wish.org and connect with us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/