Stavros is one of more than 200 wish kids who have attended the Super Bowl since 1982
Feb. 6, 2018, MONTREAL — Make-A-Wish® Quebec sent Stavros, a 16-year-old with Friedreich’s ataxia, to Minneapolis for a football experience fit for a true champion. Stavros joined a team of 14 kids with critical illnesses hailing from eight different states and Canada for their wish to attend Super Bowl LII. These wishes are only possible thanks to volunteers and generous donations from supporters, like the National Football League (NFL).
Stavros and his family travelled from Montreal to Minneapolis on Thursday, Feb. 1. The wish experience started promptly thereafter with a VIP reception at Dave & Buster’s – a national sponsor of Make-A-Wish® – to welcome all of the wish families to the Twin Cities. The rest of the weekend included a visit to Super Bowl Experience, a private stadium tour and opportunities to meet former NFL players, culminating in tickets to watch the NFC Champion and AFC Champion face off at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 4.
“Time and time again, we see these wishes help kids replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with strength,” said Michelle Sylvestre, CEO, Make-A-Wish Quebec. “Attending Super Bowl LII was a truly life-changing experience for Stavros and his family.”
With Stavros’s wish, Make-A-Wish marks the 36th consecutive year that a wish kid was present at the Super Bowl. Never before in the 36-year history of wish-granting at the Super Bowl has the power of these wish experiences been better understood. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness. A wish-come-true not only makes kids feel better, but it also may even improve their quality of life and lead to better health outcomes. The NFL, by continuously demonstrating support for Make-A-Wish, helps to make these long-lasting, impactful experiences possible.
Wish kids at the Super Bowl date back to 1982 when the NFL granted the wish of John Paul Serna, a 12-year-old Arizona boy, at Super Bowl XVI in Pontiac, Mich., the 9th wish in Make-A-Wish history. Since then, every Super Bowl has been attended by at least one wish kid; totaling more than 200 Super Bowl wishes throughout nearly four decades.