Though originally struggling with his own condition, after his wish was granted, Frankie wanted to reconnect with Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area because, as he puts it, “I thought it would be fun to help out.”
Frankie’s Make-A-Wish story began in 2009 when he was 10 years old and he was referred for a wish. Fighting lymphoma, he had been an avid basketball player and missed the game. The Warriors were his “neighborhood team” and he said he roots for them because “their win is my win!” He wished for a courtside experience to get into the thick of the action and see the players up close, maybe even meeting some of them. He especially wished to share the experience with his family to make his wish complete.
In early 2010, his wish came true. In addition to courtside seats for the game, Frankie and his family were brought to the Oracle Arena to attend the Warrior team warm-ups. His Mom, Miriam, Dad, Ronan, and sister, Lily watched as Frankie was escorted onto the court to join the players for some ball-handling drills of dribbling and free-throws. Then Frankie got to tour the locker room and player facilities, and was given a basketball which each of the players signed while he was there. To top it off, Monta Ellis gave Frankie a pair of his shoes in the player's locker room. Frankie was truly stunned !
That evening, the family all sat together courtside to watch the Warriors play. His mother, Miriam, told the wish team that “Being out on the court with the players before the game, and being treated so warmly by them, was an absolute high” for Frankie. She said “The night was an amazing experience for Frankie, and for us too. Seeing him being well enough to enjoy it was priceless for me. Basketball is his passion, and the players are his role models. We couldn't have wished for a better group of people to deliver so generously of their time and care.” After the game, star player Stephen Curry personally escorted Frankie to join the team back in the locker room for their post-game wrap-up and for one final “break” with Frankie leading the cheer.
But Frankie wasn’t finished with Make-A-Wish yet! After a couple of years getting back in the rhythm of being a regular student, Frankie again turned his attention to Make-A-Wish. He applied to be a member of YPAC Jr. in 2014. His sister, Lily, also liked the idea, and joined at the same time. The two have been active in many fundraisers and events as representatives of Make-A-Wish.
Recently, Frankie even supported the adult YPAC team as a guest speaker at their fundraiser, Swishes for Wishes, a basketball tournament held in Oakland. The YPAC event coordinator Serena said that “Frankie was SUPER personable and very endearing - he LOVES basketball. He was so nervous before he shared his story... What stuck with me most was that he said (about his wish) ‘the whole day was such a wonderful blur - it's hard to remember the details’, but then he went into SO much detail about the day, his limo ride, the restaurant. It was adorable. AND he is super funny! All in all, it was wonderful to have him there. He is a great supporter of Make-A-Wish!”
Frankie is now a high school sophomore in San Francisco. Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area is glad to have him on our team!