JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) — Christmas came early at Newport Center in New Jersey for a boy fighting a life threatening disease.
His wish to go to Cuba marks the first wish of its kind in the chapter’s history.
This is a much different holiday for 11-year-old Tyler Machado than it was last Christmas.
“That’s when we found out he had a tumor and cancer and had to go through chemo and ‘Make-A-Wish Foundation’ came,” said Richard Machado, Tyler’s dad said.
The 5th grader from P.S. 28, who likes to rap, be with friends and post on Instagram has been fighting Burkitt Lymphoma, and it’s been a battle for the whole family.
“It was hard, hard for all of us. We got through it,” said Genesis Ramos, Tyler’s mother.
“‘If you could have one wish what would it be?’ I said Havana, Cuba,” Tyler said.
“He spoke about meeting great-grand parents in Cuba. As you know, it was hard to get over there,” Ramos said.
Flights just started from Newark to Cuba. In fact, this marks the first time ever the “Make-A-Wish Foundation” is granting a wish to Cuba.
“It makes me feel special! I’m the only kids who picked Cuba,” Tyler said.
Tyler’s wish to meet extended family, eat real Cuban food, and even milk a cow was a touching celebration across the mall.
“We’ve got this young man, it’s so beautiful,” said Michael Hardy, Macy’s store manager.
Not just Tyler benefits from wishing, everyone is invited to dream big at Macy’s.
They have given $13 million over the last decade with letters delivered to the North Pole.
“If you put a letter in the box we give a dollar,” Hardy said.
If you have a wish for Santa, for every letter $1 goes to “The Make-A-Wish Foundation.”
See video here.
Amy Freeze, Eyewitness News
December 9, 2016