#123 Some dreams take a long time to organize, some can be done quickly. We met Lucas mid October. At the end of November The Dream Factory received a call from the Indiannapolis Colts. Could Lucas meet Peyton Manning in the beginning of December? For this young football fan, the answer was a definite yes! Lucas himself liked to play football and he did fantastic, when he was able to participate. However, his heart defect is now keeping him out of the game that he loves. His condition couldn't stop Lucas from tossing the ball around with Peyton and chatting about the game that he loves. The photos, the memories, the autographs, Lucas may not be able to play football in school, but he has a great (and very tall) new friend.
#111 Brendan lives in Pittsford, he has been quadreplegic since birth. One of the things that brings him great joy is watching his favorite baseball team, The Boston Red Sox. No just kidding, Brendan!!! Brendan is a true Yankee fan. Each time we've met him he's worn a Yankees shirt. His room is painted Yankee blue. The TV is always on to a Yankees game. When they aren't playing live, he's watch old games. He can tell you how great his team is and now he can tell you he's been to Yankee Stadium and met some players. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Brendan and his family a moment in time he will always treasure and never forget.
#98 When you take a peek in Mark's bedroom, two things become immediately apparent- 1. He loves basketball and 2. He's a huge LA Lakers and Kobe Bryant fan. Fourteen years after his symptoms began, this 17 year old young man has finally been diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's disease. Through it all a few things have remained constant, he has the love and support of his family and friends and,...he has basketball. As manager of the Webster Thomas basketball team he can be found at every game watching the plays, watching his friends, and watching the cheerleaders! On March 9th, 2010 Mark's ultimate dream came true. He and his family attended an amazing Lakers game (Kobe shot the winning basket with just seconds left in the game). After the game Mark and his parents had the priveledge of spending time with Kobe, they talked basketball, he signed autographs and Mark walked out of the room with an ear to ear smile and Kobe's sunglasses!
#103 Since he was very young, Nicolas loved to watch the Miami Dolphins play football. Whether it was the colors, or the dolphin, no one knows for sure, but now, at the age of 13 he's a true Dolph-Fan. Diagnosed with Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy has limited his mobility, but it didn't stop him from climbing aboard an airplane headed for Miami on Christmas Day 2009. Two days later, his 13th birthday, Nicolas and his family were guests of the Miaimi Dolphins. The family watched practice before the game and enjoyed a "meet and greet" when the game was done. Nicolas had the opportunity to meet all but 9 of the current Dolphin players, it was certainly an incredible birthday! Smart Destinations added to his trip by donating "Go Miami Cards" so Nicolas could visit a variety of attractions while in the area.
#91 North Chili is home to this 9 year old young man. Angelo's kidney disease was diagnosed just a year before he requested a dream from The Dream Factory. In this short amount of time, his life has turned upside down. He has developed several complications, some due to medication, others due to therapy, and then there are those directly caused by his disease. Two things seemed to make him smile, talking about his family, and talking about the Pittsburgh Steelers. Angelo's dream came true two days before the Steeler's season home opener. Angelo, his Mom, and his Grandmother were able to watch the Steelers practice then they spent just over 2 hours with the team. Every team member signed a football for Angelo and Hines Ward presented him with three tickets to Sunday's game. A game which the Steeler's won just for him! This set of sisters from Webster live with cystic fibrosis.
#86 Dan is a freshman at St. John Fisher College living with polycystic kidney disease. Although he's a baseball player, Dan enjoys watching college football, particularly, Notre Dame football. A simple request, Dan hoped for a tour of Notre Dame University's football stadium. With the help of the folks at the University, Dan and his family were guests at the invitation only "Quarterback's Luncheon", recieved a guided tour from the school's Head of Security(which included stops in areas where only the team is allowed) touched the "Play Like A Champion Today" sign, and spent nearly an hour chatting with Coach Weis about everything from football, to family, to battling a challenging chronic illness which Coach Weis is very familiar with. It was an incredible experience for everyone involved. The next day's game began with sideline passes and concluded with a 36-33 loss to Pittsburgh in a fourth overtime- a historic game in South Bend, Indiana.
#85 Ryan's Grandfather taught him the in's and out's of NASCAR. Now a big Carl Edwards and Dale Jr fan, Ryan, who lives with cerebral palsy, chose his favorite of the two and on August 10th he had the opportunity to meet Carl Edwards at Watkins Glenn. Carl spent a nice amount of time with Ryan and his family and signed some souvenirs. Perhaps his favorite is the t-shirt where Carl wrote, "Ryan, Your the Man! Carl Edwards". The 99 Office Depot driver is a big suporter of The Dream Factory. He actually presented the trophy from his first NASCAR win to a Dream Factory child, Josh Bassinger of Central Missouri. More recently, after a big win in St. Louis, Carl presented the autographed trophy to The Dream Factory's National Director. It's now proudly on display at our National Headquarter's in Louisville, KY.
#81 Canandaigua is home to 12 year old named Ian. Thanks to his Grandfather, Ian, who was born with a congenital heart defect, is a big New York Yankees fan. Alex Rodriguez, also known as A-Rod, is his favorite player. On June 30th, 2008, Ian was in the dugout with the Yankees during batting practice. When they returned from NYC Ian's mom let us know "A-Rod was available and really payed a lot of attention to Ian. He even gave him a pair of his current batting gloves!! And he hit a home run into Monument Park for our boy (and of course the team also). Ian got his bat signed by most of the team and also got pictures with various team members." Ian's family also had a complimentary visit to the Empire State Building and enjoyed a couple days of sightseeing, shopping, and eating great food in the Big Apple.
#48 Soon after his diagnosis of lymphoblastic lymphoma, Abijah asked The Dream Factory if we could invite the former Buffalo Bill's Quaterback and Football Hall of Famer, Jim Kelly, to a cook out at his house. Living about 2 hours from Buffalo, anything is possible, but unfortunately, Mr. Kelly wasn't available for a cookout. However, instead of going to Abijah, Mr. Kelly invited Abijah to come to him for dinner. The Friday after Thanksgiving, after choosing tuxedos from The Clothes Horse and gowns from The Wedding Dress, Abijah, his family, and his girlfriend were taken to Buffalo, NY by Specialty Coach and Limousine. While there, thanks to Hunter's Hope Foundation (see link for more information), Abijah attended the annual Hunter's Hope Candlelight Ball. While attending the Ball, Abijah was able to spend time some wonderful time with Jim and Jill Kelly. Abijah's thank you note reads, "Thank you so much for making my dream come true. I know it was not hte easiest task to perform. My family and I had a great time. Jim, Jill and everyone else were great to us."
#23 Merrill and #24 Samuel are brothers living with von Willebraud's disease, a bleeding disorder. Because of their condition, these boys are not able to participate in any type of contact sport. Wrestling was quiet interesting to them because, here's these guys who get knocked down, kicked around, clobbered by furniture, and they get back up again. Any little cut or scrape could be life threatening to these brothers. Thanks to the WWF, Merrill and Samuel were able to meet some of their favorite professional wrestlers, Kane and Rob Van Dam. It was a great experience, perhaps the highlight of their dream was staying at the same hotel as the wrestlers and having the opportunity to speak with them again in the hotel restaurant.
# 20 Andrew introduced The Dream Factory of Rochester to the world of professional wrestling. Born with cerebral palsy, Andrew became interested in watching wrestling at a young age and Chris Jericho quickly became his hero. When we sent him to Connecticut to attend a WWE event, little did we know that Andrew would meet Chris Jericho and 13 other professional wrestlers! It was more than any of us could have imagined and as his mother said when they returned, "He'll probably float on this for a long time."