ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque teen diagnosed with terminal cancer has a wish to meet an NBA superstar. Now, a woman who he had never met, is trying to make it happen using social media.
A year ago Kyle was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that’s left him paralyzed from the waist down. His father, Aaron, said it’s so rare several hospitals around the country decline to take on his case.
“It’s called Myxopapillary Ependymoma,” Aaron said. “They can’t operate anymore because it’s too dangerous.”
Last November, doctors gave him five months to live. In those five months, Kyle told his dad he had one wish. However, the Make-A-Wish Foundation said Kyle’s too old to get that wish granted.
“I’ve liked Lebron since I’ve liked basketball,” Kyle said.
Kyle said if he could meet anyone, it would be Lebron James.
“He’s just the best. I love to watch him play, dunk it,” he said.
The only problem is Make-A-Wish Foundation only grants wishes for children ages 2-18 who are diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions.
Kyle is 19. But that’s where Laura Onorato and her daughter, Alexandra, come in.
“They had said he wanted a wish and that his wish was related to basketball,” Laura said.
Laura had never even met Kyle, but once she heard about his wish from his parents, she took the request to social media.
“We thought, ‘How in the world can we make that happen?’” she said. “So it started by tweeting.”
In just two days hundreds of people were using the hashtag “#Kyle’sWish” and asking the basketball superstar to show an Albuquerque kid some love.
“Somebody who’s worked so hard and accomplished so much can make such a difference in a kid’s life,” Laura said. “Whereas sometimes social media can be an ugly thing, it can also be a really beautiful thing.”
Today was the first time Laura met Kyle.
“It was an honor,” she said.
And with just over 300 retweets, the two don’t plan to give up anytime soon.
“I spend probably an hour or two on the couch, with my mom’s phone,” Alexandria said. “I’ll go through and tweet a celebrity and say, ‘Hey! Give us a retweet.'”
Kyle said if he ever gets the chance to meet James, he has one request.
“I challenge you to one-on-one in wheelchair basketball,” he said.