After enduring surgery and chemotherapy at Banner Children’s Diamond Children's Hospital, Daniel’s social worker referred him to Make-A-Wish Arizona for a wish.
“Some time before I was sick, my dad had purchased a fly fishing pole at a yard sale,” said Daniel. “Although none of us had ever been before, I was always curious about the sport.”
Daniel had watched fly fishing on television, and talked about it enough that, when his volunteer wish granters asked for his wish, he decided to try it in person.
“Daniel loves the outdoors and fly fishing had been something he wished to do for a long time,” said Daniel’s mom, Hortensia. “He was so thrilled to hear the good news that his wish would come true.”
The first week of summer vacation, Daniel traveled with his parents and siblings to Page, Ariz., where they met a fishing guide on Lake Powell.
“He taught me the ins and outs of fly fishing,” said Daniel. “It was challenging at first, but I felt great when I caught my first fish.”
Daniel, who caught two fish on the fly, said his favorite part was learning how to cast and hook the fish.
“My wish was something for me to look forward to after everything I had been through,” said Daniel. “But what I didn’t expect was that my wish also made me feel really accomplished, not only for catching these fish but also for beating my cancer.”
In addition to fly fishing, Daniel and his family visited Antelope Slot Canyon and embarked on a river rafting trip on the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam.
“We had such a fabulous trip!” said Daniel. “It was much, much more fun and adventurous than I could have ever imagined!”
Hortensia said she will always remember how happy and healthy Daniel was during his wish and that they had such a good time together as a family.
“Daniel’s wish was an unforgettable experience that exceeded all of our expectations,” said Hortensia. “It would have been fantastic under any circumstances but after everything Daniel had been through, we appreciated it even more.”
Today, Daniel has been in remission for three years and he is currently a junior studying biochemistry at the University of Arizona.
“He loves science and we hope that he might want to do something with medicine or medical research after his experience,” Hortensia said.
Daniel has been fly fishing with his dad three more times since his wish and plans to keep going whenever he can find time.
“I am very grateful to Make-A-Wish Arizona for granting my wish and giving us this exceptional experience as a family,” Daniel said.