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“My Wish” Returns to SportsCenter July 16 with NFL, MLB, and UFC Stars


The award-winning ESPN “My Wish” series returns for its 16th season on Sunday, July 16 and will feature stars from the NFL, MLB and the UFC. Since its beginning in 2006, the series has worked with Make-A-Wish® to fulfill 79 sports-themed wishes for children with critical illnesses.

This year’s series of wishes will feature Mike Trout of MLB’s Los Angeles Angels; Ja’Marr Chase of the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals; UFC fighter Dustin Poirier and Josh Allen of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.

Working together with Make-A-Wish, ESPN produces feature segments on the wishes to air on SportsCenter, with the first feature of this year’s series debuting in the 8 a.m. ET hour on Sunday, July 16. A new feature will debut in the 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 17-18-19. All features will re-air multiple times in various editions of SportsCenter and will be available on a special landing page on ESPN.com.

Chris Connelly has hosted the ESPN “My Wish” series since the series began and returns again this season to tell these stories.

The 2023 ESPN “My Wish” on SportsCenter segments include:

  • Sunday, July 16 – Mike Trout/Los Angeles Angels: Within minutes of meeting him, it’s clear how much baseball means to seven-year-old Eli Velasquez, who was born with a heart condition that required multiple surgeries. For his wish, the Corsicana, Tex., resident gets to play catch and receive 1-on-1 coaching from his favorite player, Angels superstar Mike Trout. The piece also is the weekend’s SC Featured In addition, a Spanish-language version of the feature will appear on ESPNDeportes.com.

  • Monday, July 17 – Ja’Marr Chase/Cincinnati Bengals: The orange and black of the Cincinnati Bengals adorned Brixton Wood’s room while he was going through cancer treatments last winter. Now that he’s in remission, the six-year-old from Georgetown, Tex., gets to spend a day with his favorite team and do “The Griddy” with star wide receiver, Ja’Marr Chase.

  • Tuesday, July 18 – Dustin Poirier/UFC: The toughness of MMA fighters has inspired 17-year-old Alden Cary of Davidson, N.C., to show the same kind of grit during his bout with cancer. To see how those gladiators foster that kind of strength, he joins Dustin Poirier as the lightweight contender trains for UFC 291.

  • Wednesday, July 19 – Josh Allen/Buffalo Bills: Engaged in a three-year battle with brain cancer that requires him to undergo chemotherapy treatments regularly, Caleb Foarde of Winter Garden, Fla., regularly mentored other kids going through similar cancer treatments. For his wish, he wanted to spend the day as an official member of the Buffalo Bills.

Versions of the wish videos also will be shared on ESPN social media platforms.

About The Walt Disney Company and Make-A-Wish

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, including ESPN, is committed to delivering joy and comfort to children facing serious illness and to the people who care for them.

This includes Disney’s efforts with Make-A-Wish and nearly 100 other wish-granting organizations around the world. Through this collaboration with Make-A-Wish, Disney has helped grant more than 150,000 life-changing wishes since the first wish was granted more than 40 years ago at Disneyland Resort. Wishes range from theme park visits to movie premieres, character meet-and-greets to sports events. All with the goal of helping kids feel like kids, while creating special memories with their families.

To learn more about Disney and ESPN’s efforts to deliver joy when its needed most, visit wish.org/MyWish.

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 24,000 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 550,000 wishes in 50 countries worldwide; more than 360,000 wishes in the U.S. and its territories alone. For more information about Make-A-Wish America, visit wish.org.

Writer: Andy Hall

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