PHOENIX, July 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/
-- Make-A-Wish® and ESPN® today announced the 14th annual "My Wish" series presented by Dove Men+Care, a week-long exploration of wish granting on SportsCenter that highlights the inspirational stories of five children with critical illnesses who wished to meet their sports heroes. Beginning the evening of Saturday, July 13 and continuing through the week, the series will conclude on Thursday, July 18.
ESPN cameras captured each wish in its entirety, beginning with the initial surprise when a child was told their wish would be granted, all the way through the life-changing experience they shared with the athlete. Over the years, the series has featured best-in-class professionals, including global superstars, world champions, gold medalists, hall of famers and MVPs. This year's roster is no exception, with star-studded talent including the Colorado Rockies; YouTube sensations Dude Perfect; NHL all-star goaltender Marc-André Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights; 2018 Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants; and WWE® Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon.
Emmy-award winning reporter Chris Connelly brings these stories to life for the 14th consecutive year through insightful and compelling interviews with the wish kids and their families.
"It's beyond inspiring to help tell the stories of these kids who have endured incredible hardships, and yet have the biggest smiles on their faces on the day their wish comes true," said Connelly. "When you see a child's eyes light up when they actually see and meet their favorite athletes, you understand the importance of these wishes and the positivity and healing that they provide."
"Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness," said Richard Davis, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. "The 'My Wish' series gives SportsCenter viewers the opportunity to witness and understand the transformational impact of a wish-come-true, not only for the wish kid and their family but for everyone involved."
Make-A-Wish extends its thanks to Disney and ESPN for their support of the "My Wish" series as part of The Walt Disney Company's philanthropic and outreach initiative, Disney Team of Heroes, delivering comfort and inspiration to families with children facing serious illness. Beyond assisting with this year's series, Disney – which owns ESPN – has been a steadfast friend of Make-A-Wish for 39 years and has helped the organization grant more than 130,000 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
Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We seek to bring every eligible child's wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child's treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Make-A-Wish is the world's leading children's wish-granting organization, serving children in every community in the United States and in more than 50 countries worldwide. Together, generous donors, supporters, staff and nearly 40,000 volunteers across the U.S., grant a wish every 34 minutes, on average, somewhere in the country. Since 1980, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 300,000 wishes to children in the U.S. and its territories; more than 15,600 in 2018 alone. For more information about Make-A-Wish America, visit wish.org