Imagine watching your favourite baseball players on television in your living room and dreaming that one day you’ll be a famous baseball player. Now, imagine if that wish came true. For Nathan, an 8-year-old from Alberta who lives with a serious heart condition, becoming a Toronto Blue Jay was his ultimate wish. StubHub Canada and the Toronto Blue Jays pulled out all the stops to make Nathan’s wish an experience he and his family will cherish forever.
Nathan loves cheese pizza, ketchup chips and all things sports. Nathan enjoys playing with his twin sister Zoe, their two dogs, Bear and Max, and his cat, Daisy. He has a lot in common with most kids his age, but unlike most kids, Nathan lives with a heart condition that impacts his daily life and requires continuous monitoring and treatment.
Nathan’s heart condition makes him more vulnerable to illness and he has been hospitalized several times since birth. He takes daily heart medication and has regular appointments at Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton to make sure he stays healthy. Despite these challenges, Nathan continues to be active, spends time outdoors and plays his favourite sports.
Nathan was thrilled when he found out that he would be flying to Toronto for his wish to be a Blue Jay.
“He’s a natural sports fan,” said Nathan’s father, Luis. “He’d rather watch sports highlights in the morning than cartoons.”
As part of Nathan’s wish, he signed an exclusive sponsorship deal with StubHub Canada to make him a Toronto Blue Jay during the team’s series against the Tampa Bay Rays in September 2019. Our newest (and youngest!) Blue Jays player was taken on a VIP tour of the Rogers Centre and met his amazing new teammates. After taking the field to participate in batting practice, Nathan watched the Jays take on the Rays from a private suite with his family.
“I went on the field and into the dugout, and all the players signed a bat for me. I even had my very own locker,” said Nathan.
“His wish to meet the Blue Jays was something that he’ll never forget. He enjoyed every minute of it,” said Luis. “We’re very grateful to Make-A-Wish, the Toronto Blue Jays and StubHub for making the wish a reality.”
Thanks to StubHub and their belief in the transformative impact of a wish, Nathan’s one true wish was realized. The wish was granted as part of StubHub’s #TicketForward program, which invites people in Canada and the U.S. to nominate people in their communities who inspire them for the chance to gift them tickets to a live event. As part of the program, StubHub selected Make-A-Wish® as its first global #TicketForward partner, and together, they are granting life-changing wishes to children with critical illnesses who wish to have live event experiences.
“StubHub is all about giving fans access to the live experiences which mean the most to them,” said Paul Nowosad, General Manager of StubHub Canada. “The #TicketForward program connects fans like Nathan, who are true examples of strength and perseverance in their community, with an unforgettable experience to ensure that no fan gets left behind.”
“We are thrilled to partner with StubHub to grant wishes for children like Nathan,” said Chris Pon, Vice-President, National Corporate Alliances, Make-A-Wish Canada. “Global partnerships are critical to our success and it’s wonderful to see StubHub continue its support of Make-A-Wish in Canada. StubHub’s leadership is commendable, and its support of Nathan’s wish is a testament to the company’s commitment to giving back.”
Thanks to StubHub for supporting Make-A-Wish and helping our organization get closer to achieving our goal of granting the wish of every eligible child in Canada.