Make-A-Wish and ESPN announce the 17th edition of the “My Wish” series that brings sports wishes to life

More than 80 wish kids have been profiled as part of the summer series since its inception in 2006

PHOENIX, July 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Make-A-Wish and ESPN have announced that the “My Wish” series will soon return for its 17th year on SportsCenter. The series focuses on the inspiring journeys of children with critical illnesses whose lives are forever changed when their wishes to meet their favorite sports heroes and teams come true.

From Sunday, July 14, through Thursday, July 18, a new feature will be released each day during the 7 a.m. ET hour of SportsCenter. Once debuted, features will continue to air for a 24-hour period on successive SportsCenter programs. A digital version of each “My Wish” story will be available on the ESPN and Make-A-Wish websites. The website will also include an entry for the Spanish-language counterpart series, “Mi Deseo,” featuring exclusive interview footage captured in Spanish.

For each of the wishes featured, ESPN cameras were on-hand to document the wish journey from the initial surprise when the wish kids learned their wish was coming true to the life-changing day when they met their favorite athlete or team. Over the years, “My Wish” has featured global superstars, world champions, gold medalists, hall of famers and MVPs. This year’s roster of wish kids, star-studded athletes and teams includes:

  • Levi, a 12-year-old with cancer, who learned what it takes to be the best from his favorite players on the San Francsico 49ers;
  • Laura, a 10-year-old with cancer, who got to swim side-by-side with gold medalist Katie Ledecky;
  • Bradee, an 18-year-old with kidney disease, who got to meet the Duke basketball team ahead of its clash with cross-town rival, University of North Carolina;
  • Yisroel, a 15-year-old with a metabolic disorder, who took the field alongside Tua Tagovailoa and the rest of the Miami Dolphins; and 
  • Gunnar, an 11-year-old with a respiratory disorder, who played catch with his favorite player, Freddie Freeman, before taking the mound at Dodgers Stadium to throw out the first pitch.

“The power of the ‘My Wish’ series lies in the beautiful way that ESPN honors these wish kids and their families by letting them share their inspiring stories with viewers,” said Leslie Motter, president and CEO, Make-A-Wish America. “Once viewers hear what these families have dealt with and overcome, they can start to see the critical role a wish plays in restoring hope, joy and a sense of normalcy to families.”

As he has since the very first “My Wish” story, Emmy-award winning reporter Chris Connelly will bring his storytelling prowess to the series through his insightful interviews with the wish kids and their families.

“I’ve been part of My Wish since its inception, and I’m still just amazed by the resilience, strength and optimism of the children and families whose stories we share,” Connelly said. “I think we’re all grateful for the chance to show these wishes restoring hope and happiness to those who’ve had to endure so much.”

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 commitment to delivering joy and comfort to children with critical illnesses and their families. Beyond assisting with this year’s series, Disney – which owns ESPN – has been a steadfast friend of Make-A-Wish for 44 years and has helped the organization grant more than 155,000 Disney-related wishes, including the very first official wish.

For more information about Make-A-Wish and the ESPN “My Wish” series, visit

About Make-A-Wish®
Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Founded in Phoenix, Arizona, Make-A-Wish is the #1 most trusted nonprofit operating locally in all 50 states throughout the U.S. Together with generous donors, supporters, staff and more than 20,000 volunteers across the country, Make-A-Wish delivers hope and joy to children and their families when they need it most. Make-A-Wish aims to bring the power of wishing to every child with a critical illness because wish experiences can help improve emotional and physical health. Since 1980, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 585,000 wishes in 50 countries worldwide; more than 375,000 wishes in the U.S. and its territories alone. For more information about Make-A-Wish America, visit



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