More than 60 life-changing wishes and 13 years later, Make-A-Wish and ESPN announce an all-star lineup of four new, inspirational sports stories as part of the annual “My Wish” series.
The summertime series presented by Dove Men+Care on SportsCenter focuses on the incredible joy and strength that children with critical illnesses receive from a wish-come-true. Starting the evening of Sunday, July 15 and continuing Monday, July 16, Tuesday, July 17, and Thursday, July 19, sports fans can catch different stories of Make-A-Wish kids meeting their sports heroes. The series will come to a conclusion on Friday, July 20 with a compilation feature highlighting the full roster of this year’s wishes.
From end zones and three-point lines to outfields and race tracks, ESPN cameras have been there from the initial surprise when wish kids find out their wish will come true until they meet the athletes they idolize the most. Throughout the years, the series has featured elite athletes of all kinds, including global superstars, world champions, gold medalists, hall of famers and MVPs. This year’s participants are equally as impressive with involvement from golf champion Jordan Spieth; 27-time World Series winning team, The New York Yankees; NFL all-time great Larry Fitzgerald; and NBA all-star Jimmy Butler.
For the 13th consecutive year, Emmy-award winning reporter Chris Connelly brings these stories to life through eye-opening, first-hand interviews and best-in-class storytelling.
“Every year, we witness how sick kids internalize the toughness and determination that professional athletes display on a nightly basis,” said Connelly. “When wish kids meet their favorite athletes and teams, they are empowered to stay strong and positive no matter what health obstacles come their way.”
“Wishes have proven physical and emotional benefits that can give children with critical illnesses a higher chance of survival,” said David Williams, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. “That’s because when a wish is granted, a child replaces fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope. The ‘My Wish’ series invites SportsCenter viewers to witness this power and see as the lives of wish kids, their families and their favorite athletes change forever.”
Make-A-Wish extends its thanks to Disney and ESPN for their support of the “My Wish” series as part of their Team of Heroes initiative centered around improving the patient and family experience in children’s hospitals. Beyond assisting with this year’s series, Disney – which owns ESPN – has been a steadfast friend of Make-A-Wish for 38 years and has helped the organization grant more than 120,000 Disney-related wishes, including the first official wish in 1980.
For more information about Make-A-Wish and the ESPN “My Wish” series, visit wish.org/mywish.