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Mavericks Make a Wish

Marvin Ridge Mavericks Mascot,Stephen Smith, CJ Smith, Adam Smith and the representatives of the Carolina Panthers!
Christopher James Greicius always dreamed of becoming a police officer, and his dream sparked one of the largest wish-granting organizations in the world.

Beginning in 1980, Christopher was being treated for leukemia. Officer Tommy Austin became friends with Christopher and his family, where he guaranteed Christopher a ride in a police helicopter. Christopher’s health soon worsened, so Tommy planned a day that would change Christopher’s life forever.

On April 29, 1980, Tommy started Christopher’s day by giving him a tour around the city in a helicopter. He was flown to the headquarters of the Department of Public Safety (DPS), where he was sworn in as the first DPS patrolman in state history. And his experience didn’t end there; soon Christopher received his own custom-made uniform to suit his new role in the police force.

But on May 2, 1980, Christopher was back in the hospital battling for his life. He asked to arrange his room so he could always see his uniform. The following day, Christopher passed away. Before he passed, Christopher saw his dream come true; he experienced hope, strength and joy, which came from receiving his wish.

Everyone saw how happy Christopher was, knowing that his wish came true, and if one boy’s wish created such happiness, maybe they could do the same for other children. Christopher’s mom proposed the plan to the people who helped Christopher’s dream come true. The proposal was later endorsed, and is what we now know as Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation has been making dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses since the 1980s, and last month, Mavericks got to witness such a special occasion.

Adam was adopted by the Smith family in February of 2010 from a home in China that specializes in children with medical issues. Though he has not been a member of their family for long, he has already won over the hearts of not only the Smiths, but also the Marvin Ridge community.

Adam is a sweet 4-year-old boy who has Spina Bifida. Since he has been in the United States, Adam has undergone treatment at Duke University Hospital in order to detether his spinal cord in attempts to correct the Spina Bifida.

In less than a year of being in the states, Adam has taken a liking to American sports. His older brothers play for the Marvin Ridge High School football team, and Adam is the Maverick’s biggest fan. Not only does Adam love the Marvin Ridge Mavericks, but he is also a huge Carolina Panther’s fan.

Adam loves both teams and is a dedicated fan to both the Mavericks and the Panthers. In an earlier interview with the Charlotte Observer, Adam’s family spoke of how each Monday after a Panther loss, Adam would grieve at pre-school in devastation.
The only difference that Adam can distinguish between the Panthers and the Mavericks is that the Mavs finished their season with a 9-2 record, and the Panthers have had a less than favorable season this year.

Having been a true fan of football, the Panthers, and the Mavericks, Adam’s wish was to be drafted by the Carolina Panthers. Though his medical condition makes Adam unable to play football, his wish to be a draft pick was made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The Carolina Panthers came to Marvin Ridge High School on Friday, December 10, 2010, to make Adam’s wish come true. He wanted to be a part of the Panther’s team. They had him walk out of the Panther’s official tunnel, down a blue carpet covered in silver, blue, and black confetti to the signing table with Marvin Ridge’s senior football players to his left and right. The stands in the gym were completely filled with over 1,200 students, and everyone was going crazy cheering on Adam.

“It was almost louder than it is at a normal Marvin Ridge football or basketball game,” said junior Katie Thompson.
The president of the Carolina Panthers shook Adam’s hand and gave him his own official Panther’s jersey and his own hat. His jersey had his name on it and the number “1,” indicating that Adam was the number one draft pick. Adam’s face just lit up with excitement and everyone got emotional.

“To see that little boy’s face light up when he got the chance to sign with the Panthers was the most touching thing I’ve seen in a while. I’m so glad that Marvin Ridge got to be a part of it,” said Lauren Klawonn, senior.

Adam’s wish came true and he was happier than ever. Everyone wanted to take pictures with him and congratulate him on making the team. He was also given the chance by the team president to go to practice with the Panthers and go on the field with them at the game on Sunday to present the game ball. It’s amazing how small things like making a child’s wish come true can make them so happy.

Written by: Meghan Bradshaw -12th grade, Micah Christian- 11th grade and Sara James- 12th grade
Posted: Mar 18, 2011 by Ms. Beth Hamilton

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