Children fighting terminal illnesses have seen some of their dreams come true through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The organization recently helped one young Giants fan experience an unforgettable moment.
Jackson Kondak, a 9-year-old boy from Maplewood, New Jersey, had never been to a professional football game until he caught the New York Giants in action at MetLife Stadium through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. But that was just a part of his special experience with the team.
The boy suffers from Fabrys, a rare genetic disorder that requires he spend five hours on any given day hooked up to an IV receiving enzyme infusions.
His mother Kim also suffers from Fabrys.
"It causes cell damage throughout the body," she explained. "It's a progressive disease, so kidney failure, heart failure, and strokes [are part of Fabrys]."
Every other Friday Jackson and Kim spend five hours hooked up to IVs getting special enzyme infusions to slow the onset of Fabrys.
But Friday November 15th's treatment was rescheduled so he could have a once-in-a-lifetime, coordinated by Make a Wish of New Jersey.
"Our mission is very simple, it's one sentence: we grant wishes to children with life threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy," said CEO Tom Weatherall.
Jackson and his younger brother Christopher, along with their parents and grandparents, were allowed into the Giants training facility to watch the team practice. Coach John Coughlin welcomed them and then Jackson got to meet some of his favorite players, including Eli Manning, Victor Cruz and Justin Tuck.
He even got to go inside their huddle on the practice field, and was asked to say a few words.
"Let's crush those Packers!" Jackson shouted to the delight of the players, who were getting ready to face Green Bay that Sunday.
"I feel really good," Jackson told us after meeting the players. He said the day was one of his best ever, "Even better than Christmas."
The Giants, who frequently grant wishes through Make a Wish, also get a boost from meeting children like Jackson.
"We understand these kids are going through something we can't even comprehend, and to have them there and see the smiles on their faces and see how they light up when they get the opportunity to meet their favorite players, to break us down in our huddle, that means the world to us," said defensive end Justin Tuck.
That Sunday Jackson and his entire family were invited to see Big Blue face off against the Green Bay Packers.
Jackson got one more chance to spend some time with the players when he was invited into the locker room between quarters.
For more information on the Make-A-Wish Foundation and to donate, visit Wish.org.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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