Joey’s wish helps his family look forward to a brighter future

Joey is a happy and energetic nine-year-old who loves all sports, but football tops the list of his favourites. After his leukemia diagnosis in 2013 and over three years of treatment, he is currently in clinical remission. He likes to say that he “kicked cancer’s butt”. Joey is an inspiration and hasn’t let cancer rob him of his positive energy and outstanding resilience.

Joey loves being the centre of attention and his favourite colours are orange and red, he loves tacos, chicken wings and candy…especially the sour ones. Joey’s dad, Scott, shared “There’s never a dull moment with Joey on the go!” 

Joey’s most cherished wish, which encompassed his family’s love of football, came true when his family traveled together to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania so Joey could have a Pittsburgh Steelers experience. While on their wish trip, Scott emailed Make-A-Wish staff to share that they were having an amazing time, “It’s like Christmas Eve every night this week!” 

Joey said that some of the highlights of his wish trip were meeting the Steelers players, telling James Conner, a fellow cancer survivor, that he “kicked cancer’s butt”, playing catch with Roethlisberger, getting a Steelers autographed football, and acquiring a huge new collection of “Terrible Towels”. Joey’s favorite moment of his wish week was enjoying the Steelers game with his dad and brothers, he says “We totally crushed it!”

Joey’s brothers, TJ and Riley, also shared their excitement about wish week. TJ loved going to Peppi’s Restaurant to eat a “Roethlis burger”, playing arcade games at Dave & Busters, and meeting Ryan Shazier and TJ Watt. Riley had a great time at Dave & Busters playing his favourite games and he said that he also loved Joey’s wish day, “All of it was just really cool!”

Scott enjoyed watching his boys’ faces light up and shared that their trip “couldn’t just have one favourite moment as the whole week was just one incredible moment after another. It was so perfect for us because it was for Joey but was also something that involved us as a family.”

“While it doesn’t even begin to cover or convey the gratitude for serving our family so incredibly, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this indescribable trip,” said Scott. “It was way more than a wish come true for Joey. This week has proved to be a milestone for our family; filled with bittersweet memories remembered and lifelong memories made; I can’t wait to see what our future holds.”

Watch the video of Joey's wish experience on TSN.

When a wish is granted, it does much more than bring joy to a child’s heart. For kids like Joey, who are faced with critical illnesses, a wish-come-true provides them with strength to battle through darkness and gives them hope for healthier, happier days ahead.

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