Omar and 18 other wish kids going to Super Bowl LIV will join the ranks of more than 250 children with critical illnesses to have attended the Super Bowl since 1982
Make-A-Wish® Eastern Ontario is helping make history by sending Omar to be part of a record 19 wishes being granted at Super Bowl LIV. Omar, an 18-year-old with a blood disorder, will join 18 other wish kids and their families flying from 12 different states and Canada to the Sunshine State for the big game. Omar and his family will experience a life-changing, football-fueled weekend thanks to the generous donations of individuals and corporate supporters, including the National Football League (NFL).
The festivities begin on Thursday, Jan. 30 when the wish families will be treated to a welcome reception at Dave & Buster’s – a national sponsor of Make-A-Wish. In the days following, Omar will receive a private, behind-the-scenes tour of Hard Rock Stadium, spend time with past and present NFL players, test their football skills at the Super Bowl Experience and get red carpet access to the NFL Honors event. To cap off the wish, Omar will witness first-hand as the NFC Champion and AFC Champion battle for the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sunday, Feb. 2.
“Wishes allow children with critical illnesses to turn their attention from the challenges of today to the possibilities of tomorrow,” said Tanya Lalonde-Desjardins, CEO of Make-A-Wish Eastern. “We hope that by having his wish come true, Omar will return from Florida with the physical and emotional strength needed to face whatever challenges come his way.”
The tradition of wish kids at the Super Bowl goes back to only a couple years after the founding of Make-A-Wish in 1980. The first wish that the NFL granted was for John Paul Serna, a 12-year-old Arizona boy who attended Super Bowl XVI in 1982. The wish was the 9th ever in Make-A-Wish history, and since then, every Super Bowl for the past 38 years has been attended by at least one wish kid. In total, more than 250 wishes have been granted at the Super Bowl over the past four decades.