It takes a lot to slow down a boy like Andrew, who has been described as “high energy” and “rambunctious”, and who describes himself as “pretty active, pretty wild.”
But last May his grandmother and school principal noticed he was getting tired and short of breath. “During the summer, I didn’t feel good at all” he says. His grandmother Shirley, who is his legal guardian, says “He would complain about head and neck aches, sometimes being out of breath and feeling ‘out of shape.’” This continued until August 2012, when a visit to his doctor and a blood test confirmed that Andrew had acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He and his grandmother instantly burst into tears at the news.
What followed was an ambulance ride to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, and 23 days of intensive chemotherapy. He missed most of the 4th grade, and his classmates at Sacred Heart School in Saratoga began a series of fundraisers in his honor—helping cover some of his grandmother’s extra expenses and raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. During his many hospitalizations, he met another boy who had been granted a wish, and that got him thinking. An avid sports fan, Andrew wondered whether he might be able to meet San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain for his wish.
It has been just over a year since the day he received the frightening news about his condition, but Andrew’s wish came true this month in a most spectacular way. On the day of his wish, instead of going straight to the ball park, his driver took him to a surprise location first—the San Francisco Sports Car showroom. Besides the Giants, Andrew also loves cars, especially Ferraris. After seeing the dozens of unique, sleek and extremely fast cars on display there, Andrew was in for another surprise: Make-A-Wish Board member Michael Toschi was going to be driving him to AT&T park in one of the Ferraris! And of course ultimately Andrew got to meet Matt Cain face to face. Knowing that Andrew was a Little Leaguer, Matt had asked whether Andrew could bring his glove so they could play catch together. So on a sunny, clear afternoon, Andrew and his favorite Giant got to toss a ball back and forth, and Andrew could forget about the chemotherapy he’ll be going through for the next two years and feel like his old energetic self again!