Honoring teenagers battling cancer for Teen Cancer Awareness Week

Strategic Alliance Partnership | <b>Make-A-Wish: New Jersey</b>

This Teen Cancer Awareness Week, Make-A-Wish New Jersey recognizes the bravery of teenagers in the Garden State, and around the world, who are courageously battling a cancer diagnosis.

In honor of Teen Cancer Awareness Week, Make-A-Wish New Jersey recognizes the bravery of teenagers in the Garden State, and around the world, who are courageously battling a cancer diagnosis, like Antonio.

Antonio always felt most at home on the basketball court. Just three days after the 6-foot-5 teenager finished his first season with his high school basketball team, Antonio experienced a severe headache and was taken to the emergency room. There he was diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of a golf ball and underwent surgery to remove the tumor. One month later, he began to experience headaches again. Sadly, his tumor had returned.

The tumor affected both Antonio’s speech and movement on the right side of his body, but it didn’t affect his resilient spirit. Antonio had long set his sights on attending Duke University and joining their esteemed men’s basketball team. When presented the opportunity to have his fondest wish granted, Antonio knew he wanted to see the Blue Devils in action, facing their rivals, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, and in the Spring of 2020, Antonio’s wish was granted.

Antonio’s life-changing weekend at Duke University would include being the guest of honor at the team meeting prior to the big game, meeting Coach K and joining him in escorting the team into the arena. Following their win, Antonio was presented with the game ball at center court, to the sound of 9000 fans in the arena cheering his name.

Antonio’s wish is just one of countless examples of a life-changing wish granted to a child battling a critical illness. If you know a child diagnosed with cancer, visit Make-A-Wish New Jersey to learn more about how to refer them for a life-changing wish at wish.org/refer.