Quinn is, in many ways, an average young man. He loves the color orange; his favorite foods are mashed potatoes and popcorn. He likes to play with Legos, listen to music and play video games. He absolutely loves soccer. But in one other way, he isn’t like other boys.
Quinn was diagnosed with leukemia. Even with its high survivability rate, cancer is always a scary word. The unknowns are abundant. What will treatments be like? Will I lose my hair? Will I have to stay in the hospital? What’s going to happen to me?
To keep Quinn focusing on the positive, he needed a wish. One that was so far beyond his own capabilities… one that only Make-A-Wish could grant.
When two of our seasoned wish volunteers visited Quinn and his family, they were met with a vibrant and excited young man. One volunteer told us “Quinn is adorable, very smart and answered all of our questions with enthusiasm. [He’s] a huge soccer fan!” It came as no surprise to anyone that he wish would involve soccer. But not just a simple wish to see a match or meet just any player. Quinn wanted to see the Barcelona Soccer Team plan and to meet their star player, Messi.
Lionel Messi is often ranked as the best player in the world and rated by some in the sport as the greatest of all time. Messi is the first soccer player in history to win three European Golden Shoe awards. With Barcelona, Messi has won six La Ligas, two Copas del Rey, six Supercopas de España, three UEFA Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups. It’s no wonder that he’s a hero to many young soccer fans, including Quinn. So many, in fact, that there was quite a long waiting list to have this wish granted—35 others were in line ahead of Quinn. It could be a very long wait.
But Quinn was willing to wait. As he finished his treatments, meeting Messi was the light at the end of the tunnel. Partnering with Make-A-Wish Spain and several other chapters around the world, a huge Meet and Greet with Messi was planned…and in just a few short months, the wait was over! Quinn was on his way to Barcelona with his parents and two siblings.
In true Make-A-Wish style, a limo picked up the family at their home in Lititz and took them to the Philadelphia airport where they flew direct to Barcelona. Another limo greeted them and took them to their hotel, Hotel Hesperia Sant Joan. From there, Quinn would go to the Ciudad Deportava and he would finally meet Messi. Thirty other children with their families were there to be a part of this large scale wish granting event. They all had a chance to hang out with Messi and made friends amongst themselves as well. Quinn’s mom told us that other than meeting Messi, his favorite part of the wish was playing soccer with the other wish kids who were there.
In addition to meeting Messi, they visited the teams museum were given special gifts including an autographed –shirt. There was even a special dinner planned for all of the families. They even had a chance to see some of the wonderful sights in Spain.
“The trip was wonderful,” Quinn’s mom told us. “Quinn was so excited about everything he got to do. Meeting Messi was of course the best part…Just this morning at breakfast, Quinn said he's going to live in Spain as soon as he's old enough. [Make-A-Wish Spain staff and volunteers] were great - very nice & friendly. And it was really nice to spend time with the other families.”
Like every other wish, this one was simply not possible without the generosity and support from you—our many friends who do so much each year to see kids like Quinn have a magical moment that helps them to see past their illness and to believe that wishes do come true. Thank you for helping to make this wish possible.