Worth, ILL - A young boy who suffers from various life-threatening illnesses recently had his wish granted to meet Chicago Cubs player Aramis Ramirez. The wish was made possible with the help of national charity Kids Wish Network.
Nicholas, who is 11-years-old, was born with Hydrocephalus, a cleft lip and palate, and Crouzan Syndrome, which results in the premature fusion of certain bones in the skull. He has had seven surgeries in his short life, including brain surgery, a bone graft and various reconstructive surgeries to help repair the malformations in his face caused by his illnesses. He will soon undergo another surgery, which will be his most extensive surgery to date, in which surgeons will work to make his face appear more symmetrical.
A Kids Wish Network Wish Referral Specialist contacted Gina, Nicholas' mom, and sent an application for a wish out to their home. Once the application was completed, Wish Coordinator Vanessa and Wish Funding Specialist Doris got right to work on getting Nicholas' wish granted.
Vanessa set up the meet and greet with Ramirez, tickets to the game, a hotel stay at Affinia Chicago, various meals at area restaurants, a limo ride, free admission to an Air and Water show with a hospitality tent set up by Shell, and even spending money for their expenses.
"Everything was wonderful. People were so nice and they treated us all like royalty. They were very, very nice to Nick and to all of us," said Gina. "The Hotel was wonderful and all the restaurants that we got to eat at were great."
Aside from meeting Ramirez, Nicholas and his family got to meet many additional Cubs players, including Ryan Theriot, Jake Fox, Jeff Baker, Rich Harden, Kosuke Fukudome, Sean Marshall, Geovany Soto and Carlos Marmol.
Nick also go to go out on to the field while the players took their pre-game batting practice, spend time with the guys in their dugout before the game started and take pictures together. Some of the players signed a ball for Nick and he was given a jersey signed by Ramirez. Gina said that Nicholas is a huge sports fan and his favorite team is the Cubs.
"He was very excited about meeting all the players. I just kept telling him to enjoy this because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Gina.
Gina said that they had a great time and that Nick really enjoyed the time he had on his wish.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Nick's wish extra special: Mayors Office of Special Events-City of Chicago, Shell, The Capital Grill, Metropolitan Limousine, Affina Chicago, The Chicago Cubs, Timmy 'O Tooles, Rainforest Café, American Legion Post 1160, BPOE Elks Lodge 1596, Rotary Club of Orland Park, VFW Post 177, Griffis-Jones & Associates, and Hunt Insurance
Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children. If you know a child between the ages of 3 and 18 who may be in need of its wish granting services, please call 727-937-3600 or toll free 888-918-9004. For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit their website at www.kidswishnetwork.org