Make-A-Wish: Springfield teen meets Chicago Bears idol

Hampden County

(Photo: Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island)

BOSTON, Mass (WWLP) – A 15-year-old from Springfield with a life-threatening illness got his wish to meet his long-time idol in Chicago last week.

15-year-old Sam Buono has had juvenile dermatomyositis since he was three years old, a rare and life-threatening autoimmune disorder.

Sam has been a fan of the bears and former linebacker Brian Urlacher since he was five and has always wanted to meet him. Thanks to Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island he got his wish.

Sam and his family traveled to Chicago last week where they visited Halas Hall, watched the Chicago Bears practice and met several players including Bears linebacker Khalil Mack, According to Rich Greif, Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island Director of Communications.

“Sam has, unfortunately, had to grow up in doctors’ offices and hospitals. To be able to experience something like this was unbelievable for him because he had such a rough childhood. We were overwhelmed with what the Chicago Bears did for him and we are so grateful for everything Make-A-Wish did to put this together.”

– Sam’s mother Cathy said in a news release sent to 22News

Sam has recently gone into remission and his health is still be monitored regularly.

Approximately 500 children in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are newly diagnosed with critical illnesses each year. This year Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island plans to grant more than 400 wishes.

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