For Arizona wish kid Drew, Age 11, the key word for his wish was "legacy."
“When Drew was 2, he was diagnosed with a rare heart condition called restrictive cardiomyopathy,” said Tara, Drew’s mom. “We went to the pediatric cardiologist, and they told us to drive immediately to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, because he was very sick and needed to be evaluated for a heart transplant.”
Just two months later, Drew and his family were headed to Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago for his transplant, but his medical journey was not done once he had his heart. Which is why Drew is regularly thinking about his legacy.
“I have very regular doctor’s appointments,” said Drew. “But we try to make the most of the time we have and do fun things.”
One of the fun things he gets to do is play baseball with his Miracle League team.
“Miracle League is an important part of my life,” said Drew. “All of my friends are there, and it is so much fun to play together.”
That feeling of fun is why Drew’s parents were not surprised when the Miracle League was part of Drew’s wish.
“We were several years post-transplant when they recommended Drew might benefit from a wish,” said Tara. “At first, I was apprehensive – what did that mean about how Drew was doing? But they assured me that wishes were for kids who had dealt with a big illness, not just a terminal illness.
“Drew talked about the fact that he really didn’t want to do a trip or meet a celebrity,” she continued. “He wanted something that, in his words, ‘lasts and lasts.”
Instantly, it came to him – Drew wished for a jumbotron at the Miracle League ballpark.
“I love playing on my Miracle League team and I wanted something that gave the other kids a chance to enjoy the wish too,” said Drew. “I had a general idea of what I wanted it to look like and I told my volunteers about it.”
The Miracle League had a special night to honor Drew and his gift to the ballpark. His unveiling included his family and many of his friends, teammates and coaches.
“It took some time to get the wish, but when I saw it for the first time, it was so cool,” said Drew. “The whole day was such a blur. I talked a little bit in interviews, and I remember talking to my friends and supporters who were there for the event, and then I finally got to pull the curtain down on the billboard!”
Since that unveiling, the teams of Miracle League have been using the billboard for every game, featuring players and sometimes even running playbacks of great wins.
“All the players were really impressed with the wish and tell me how cool it is all the time,” said Drew. “I am glad I considered how long my wish would last and did something that will last a long time. The whole thing is really awesome.”