The award-winning ESPN “My Wish” Series returns for its 14th season on Saturday, July 13, and this year will feature stars from the NFL, NHL, Major League Baseball and the WWE as well as popular sports trick shot artists Dude Perfect. Since its beginning in 2006, the series has partnered with Make-A-Wish® to fulfill 68 sports-themed wishes for children with critical illnesses.
In addition to Dude Perfect, this year’s series of wishes will feature New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, the 2018 NFL Rookie of the Year; five-time National League all-star Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies; and three-time Stanley Cup champion goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights. Also granting a wish is Stephanie McMahon, WWE chief brand officer and a former Women’s Champion.
Working together with Make-A-Wish, ESPN produces feature segments on the wishes for airing on SportsCenter, with new features debuting on the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14, and then each day of the week through Thursday, July 18. All features will re-air multiple times in various editions of SportsCenter and will be available on ESPN.com.
Chris Connelly has been host of the ESPN “My Wish” Series since its beginning. The series is presented by Dove Men+Care.
The 2019 ESPN “My Wish” on SportsCenter segments include:
- Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14 – Saquon Barkley: As 14-year-old George Taylor, a high school football player from Cohoes, N.Y., battles Ewing’s sarcoma, he hopes to emulate the attitude, drive and determination of his favorite NFL star, Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants, who makes George feel like he’s back in the game. The piece also is the weekend’s SC Featured
- Monday, July 15 – Dude Perfect: Nolan Harm, a 11-year-old from Brick Township, N.J., living with cystic fibrosis, has a passion for making the seemingly impossible happen. So who better to spend the day with than viral sensations and trick shot artists Dude Perfect?
- Tuesday, July 16 – WWE/Stephanie McMahon: Rhianna Sammut is a 17-year-old from the UK whose systemic mastocytosis has caused her severe pain, bullying and near-total isolation. Rhianna’s outlook changes as she lives out her WWE dreams for two days in America, where she’s celebrated by her favorite wrestlers and gets to meet her role model: WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon.
- Wednesday, July 17 – Vegas Golden Knights/Marc-Andre Fleury: Doron Coldwell, a 13-year-old from Las Vegas who’s faced Hodgkin’s lymphoma, joins the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights to light up the strip and replace his favorite player, Marc-Andre Fleury, in net for a day.
- Thursday, July 18 – Nolan Arenado: Sam Grayston, a 17-year-old from Laguna Hills, Calif., was born with cystic fibrosis. A hellish infancy and ongoing challenges haven’t kept him from becoming a rising star on his high school baseball team, or spending the day taking batting practice at Coors Field with his MLB hero: Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies.
In addition, a one-hour My Wish special will air Sunday, Aug. 11, at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT on ABC and will include all of the 2019 “My Wish” Series wishes. 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. As a part of the Disney Team of Heroes initiative that delivers comfort and inspiration to families around the world, Disney grants more than 10,000 wishes annually to support children facing serious illness.
Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We seek to bring every eligible child’s wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Make-A-Wish is the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization, serving children in every community in the United States and in more than 50 countries worldwide. Together, generous donors, supporters, staff and nearly 40,000 volunteers across the U.S., grant a wish every 34 minutes, on average, somewhere in the country. Since 1980, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 300,000 wishes to children in the U.S. and its territories; more than 15,600 in 2018 alone. For more information about Make-A-Wish America, visit wish.org.