Hunter has loved the Oakland Athletics for as long as he can remember.
“I grew up watching baseball and it’s always been a big part of my life,” said Hunter. “I've always been an Oakland A’s fan – they are my team!”
That love of the game – and his team—really provided comfort after Hunter was diagnosed with leukemia.
“I would watch their games after a long day of chemotherapy or during long hospital stays,” he said. “It was like having something normal in my life even when dealing with the leukemia.”
When Hunter was told he could receive a wish from Make-A-Wish Arizona, he knew he needed to meet “his team” face to face!
“I wished to hang out with the Oakland A’s for a day because I’ve always wondered what it’s like to be a professional baseball player,” said Hunter.
Hunter found out that his wish would be granted at a special surprise wish reveal at a local sports bar. Hunter thought he was just going to watch the Oakland A’s opening game on the big screens, but he was thrilled to hear his biggest wish was coming true!
Hunter and his family flew to San Francisco, where they stayed in an Airbnb condo for the weekend. They had fun exploring the city and visiting Fisherman’s Wharf before the big day.
“Being in a condo in San Francisco was amazing,” said Hunter. “I felt like I was living in San Francisco instead of just staying there. Everyone was so nice during our stay and even surprised me with gifts!”
On game day, Hunter received a baseball cap, a Zubaz sweatshirt and pants, and a jersey embroidered with his name on it. He was able to hang out with some of the Oakland A’s players like Dan Otero and Sean Doolittle as well as team manager, Bob Melvin, who autographed his new Oakland A’s gear.
One of Hunter’s favorite moments was throwing the first pitch of the game.
The announcer introduced Hunter as the featured guest – a total surprise to him – and helped excite the crowd before he warmed up his arm and threw a strike to one of his favorite players, Sonny Gray.
“My wish impacted me in a way I didn’t think would be possible,” said Hunter. “For those three days I did not feel like a kid with cancer. I felt special in a way I never felt before.”
For the rest of the night, Hunter enjoyed watching the game with his family and celebrating a win for the Oakland A’s!
“It’s such an incredible memory,” said Hunter. “I was able to meet a lot of amazing people and my wish was definitely a big life-changing experience for me.”