Running across the pristine game field at Gillette Stadium, Michael’s grin is as wide as his outstretched arms ready to catch a football. Just six years old, this aspiring athlete is a devout New England Patriots fan, and this is the most memorable pass he’s ever received. It was thrown to him by his idol, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Michael’s wish to meet the star player is full of incredible moments, yet the impact of his wish is bigger than this special day. For Michael, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor last spring, the promise of his fondest wish coming true helped him summon the strength and courage he needed as he faced a tough game plan of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
On his wish day, however, the game plan is simply about joy for Michael!
At Gillette Stadium, Michael is escorted into the locker room where he’s shown to his own locker, complete with an official Patriots jersey with his name across the back, along with, fittingly, the #1. Then, it’s on to tour the executive office, meet Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and even participate in a mock press conference in the team’s press room! Standing tall at the podium, Michael confidently predicts a big win for the Patriots over the Chicago Bears the next day.
Heading into the stadium, Michael is awestruck as he is greeted warmly by Coach Belichick and the entire team. A rush of excitement fills him as he is enveloped by the larger-than-life players who surround him for a team huddle.
Michael is then introduced to Tom Brady, along with tight end Rob Gronkowski. After collecting autographs, what follows is sure to remain one of Michael’s most precious memories: he runs plays with the two famous NFL players!
That night, Michael drifts to sleep with a heart full of incredible experiences. The next day, he sits in the stands at Gillette Stadium, cheering his team to a big win against the Bears, just as he predicted. For this young boy who has been sidelined by cancer, Michael’s wish puts him back in the game and face-to-face with his heroes, whose support and compassion will continue to help him tackle treatments and stay strong.
Thank you to our friends at the New England Patriots for their generous support of our mission. Each year, the team warmly welcomes children from across the country to Gillette Stadium for their wishes. We’re grateful for their compassionate partnership in creating once-in-a-lifetime experiences for wish children. Go Pats!