One of the NFL’s rising stars, a trailblazing NASCAR driver and an iconic franchise in Major League Baseball will highlight the 12th season of the award-winning ESPN “My Wish” Series starting Sunday, July 16. Since its beginning in 2006, the series has fulfilled 59 sports-themed wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
This year’s series of wishes will feature 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys, history-making NASCAR star Danica Patrick and the Los Angeles Dodgers, the most-winning team in Major League Baseball so far this season.
Working together with Make-A-Wish®, ESPN produces feature segments on the wishes for airing on SportsCenter, with a new feature debuting daily between Sunday, July 16, and Wednesday, July 19. All features will re-air multiple times on other editions of SportsCenter and will be available on ESPN.com. A series compilation airs on SportsCenter on Thursday, July 20.
As he has since its inception, Chris Connelly is once again hosting the series.
The 2017 ESPN “My Wish” on SportsCenter segments include:
- Sunday, July 16 (8 a.m., 11 p.m.) – Dak Prescott: Nine-year-old Raymond Melgarejo of Santa Ana, Calif., lives with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis. His wish was to meet Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys and he was able to do so at Cowboys headquarters in Frisco, Tex.
- Monday, July 17 (Midnight) – Danica Patrick: Gabrielle Jahn, who is 18 and from Tomahawk, Wis., has a progressive neurological disorder. Her wish was to meet Danica Patrick, who welcomed her to the recent NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway. The feature also will appear on espnW.
- Tuesday, July 18 (11 p.m.) — Los Angeles Dodgers: Eleven-year-old Lazaro “Ziggy” Monarrez of El Paso, Tex., had the wish of managing the Los Angeles Dodgers for a day and visited the team at Dodger Stadium. Ziggy lives with spinal muscular atrophy and restricted lung disease. A companion piece written by Anna Katherine Clemmons will appear on ESPN.com and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes.
- Wednesday, July 19 (1 a.m., after Dodgers-Nationals telecast) – ESPN Feature: Jalan Sowell, 16, of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., wanted to produce and be the subject of an inspirational ESPN feature. Jalen has chronic pulmonary embolism.
- Thursday, July 20 – A look back at highlights from the 2017 ESPN My Wish Series.
Special versions of the wish videos will be shared on ESPN social media platforms.
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, including ESPN, has supported Make-A-Wish for three decades.
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Headquartered in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 33,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 34 minutes. It has granted more than 285,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 15,300 in 2016 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at www.wish.org to learn more.
Media contact: Andy Hall, [email protected]