Traveling to Chicago in February isn’t usually a Southern kid’s idea of a good time, but for Texas teen Guy “Rene” Vega this trip was definitely worth it. Braving the Mid-West cold, Rene patiently awaited the moment when Star Wishes for Children would make his wish a reality; he was going to meet to his idol, Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls.
About a year ago, Rene visited his doctor after not feeling well for a few months. What should have been a routine easy check-up changed dramatically when doctors discovered a cancerous tumor. Rene immediately began chemotherapy treatments but after months of treatment with no response, physicians decided to surgically remove the tumor. By October of last year, it was clear the cancer had metastasized and another surgery was performed.
Currently, the cancer has spread to Rene’s stomach, pelvis and lungs, forcing the young teen to undergo extremely aggressive rounds of chemotherapy. He spends five days in treatment, three weeks off, and then repeats the cycle in an attempt to stop the disease. One thing that has continued to be a refuge for Rene is basketball; he is always trying to catch a Chicago Bulls game and see his favorite player, Derrick Rose, in action.
Rose’s rise from a humble background to become one of the most-buzzed about players in the game encourages Rene to continue fighting against his cancer. Rene never imagined he would get to meet the source of his inspiration, but thanks to Star Wishes for Children and generous sponsors, his wish was granted.
Rene and his family recently traveled on an all-expense paid wish trip to attend a Chicago Bulls game and meet Derrick Rose. The family enjoyed amazing accommodations, dined on authentic Chicago pizza, and spent an epic evening courtside as the Bulls dominated the Atlanta Hawks. During his meet-and-greet, Rene was given an official “Vega” Chicago Bulls jersey, which Rose signed; and Rene gave out his first autograph when Rose asked him to sign the Star Wishes for Children Guardian Angel t-shirt the children’s charity designed.
“I can’t believe I got to meet my hero, Derrick Rose,” recalls Rene. “I got to sit courtside and everything; it was amazing. Thank you to Star Wishes for Children for making my wish come true.”
Star Wishes for Children and Rene would like to thank the generous sponsors that helped make this wish happen: Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls, Chicago’s Essex Inn, Airport Express, Giordano’s Pizzeria, and the Malnati Organization.