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Chino Plays Catch with Matt Ryan

Fernando Zapata-Gomez

“ I wished to play catch with Matt Ryan! ”


- Chino

Meet Chino

Chino is pretty talkative—a little shy at first, but he opens up quickly. He loves to talk about all things Pokémon, video games and Atlanta Falcons Football. 

Chino's story is one of fight, resilience and triumph. At the age of six, Chino was diagnosed with acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL). For four long years Chino received treatment to fight the cancer.

“During that time Chino wanted to play football, but he was just too sick,” his mother recalls. So instead, Chino watched the Falcons on TV and cheered on his favorite quarterback, Matt Ryan.

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I Wish to Meet Matt Ryan

Happily, in October 2014 Chino was cancer free and is still in remission today! Since Chino's brave journey, he has made remarkable milestones and has gained some of the happiness he so rightfully deserves. 

Chino always imagined hanging out with Matt Ryan. He dreamed of throwing the football and catching passes with his sports hero. And that is exactly what Make-A-Wish Georgia made possible!

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A Wish Comes True

The Atlanta Falcons hosted Chino and his father, mother and brother, Marco, to a VIP experience at the Atlanta Falcons training camp in Flowery Branch, Ga. Chino's VIP experience included a limo ride, player contract signing, and of course, football! 

At training camp, Chino was given his very own, personalized Atlanta Falcons jersey and locker to gear up at. Chino wore his new jersey, and his game face, while playing ball with Matt Ryan. After learning some tips from the team, Chino was tickled when he asked to call the break from the center of the huddle at the close of practice.

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The Power of a Wish

To top off his wish experience, Chino and his family were given pregame sideline tickets and game tickets to the Redskins vs. Falcons game! Chino was the team’s honorary captain and took the field with Matt Ryan for the coin toss.

For Chino, the wish experience gave him strength and motivation to get better. So much so that Chino is going to give football a shot this year

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