Fourteen-year-old TJ has always been a huge football fan. Specifically, TJ has always been passionate about his home team, the Baltimore Ravens. Growing up in Laurel, MD, TJ enjoyed cheering for the Ravens both in person and in front of the television. After a cancer diagnosis at age 12, however, TJ’s world changed. Through countless treatments for his medical condition, football was the one thing that continued to get TJ excited. Shortly after his diagnosis, TJ was referred to Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic and told he would be receiving his one true wish. After deliberating, it came as no surprise that TJ wished to go to the NFL draft and announce the Baltimore Ravens’ first-round pick.
Before TJ learned his wish would be granted, he attended what he believed to be a regular school assembly. Little did he know, however, that a video of Coach Harbaugh would be played announcing his wish was being granted and TJ would soon travel to Philadelphia to announce the Baltimore Ravens’ first-round pick.
TJ enjoyed a whirlwind weekend in Philadelphia, complete with multiple VIP experiences including meeting the Ravens’ tight end, Dennis Pitta, and doing interviews with various media affiliates such as ESPN SportsCenter and Sports Illustrated. Of course, TJ’s wish was the highlight of his weekend, and TJ even included an iconic fist-pump before he announced the name of the first-round pick. After all was said and done, TJ shared, “This is the best thing that could have happened.” Granting wishes like TJ’s provides children battling life-threatening medical conditions with something to look forward to and a reason to continue fighting when they need it most.