Please enable JavaScript to enjoy the full site experience.

I wish to go bobsledding



brain tumor

Wish kid Tiago

Tiago’s Bobsledding Adventure Sparks Joy and Creates Everlasting Family

Tiago was heartbroken when his brain tumor diagnosis forced him to stop playing the sports he loved so much – leaving him feeling sad, frustrated and limited. “Looking back, it was chaotic,” said Tiago’s mom, Elena. “Tiago and our family went through a drastic life change very quickly. The balance between work, school and family was disturbed and our focus shifted entirely to Tiago’s health.” 

Tiago persevered through the trauma of brain surgery by watching winter sports on TV – and he unexpectedly fell in love with bobsledding. “I want to do that one day,” Tiago told his parents with hopeful eyes. He was impressed by the sport’s uniqueness and speed – and, as a Floridian, he was awe-struck by the snow. Tiago’s wish was simple in his mind: He wished to go bobsledding. 

Tiago and family in the Snow

From there, Make-A-Wish® worked with his family and medical care team, as well as a community of elite bobsledding athletes in northern New York, to grant his wish at the perfect moment. Tiago traveled with his family to the athletes’ training village and when he stepped into the crisp, snowy landscape, Tiago’s face lit up with pure joy and his eyes filled with the knowing hope that brighter days lay ahead. 

A child who once found himself withdrawn quickly immersed himself in this community of bobsledders – the very people who helped him through his recovery process. From throwing playful snowballs to exchanging stories of what it means to overcome a challenge, Tiago saw himself as one of them. He was captivated by their speed on the hills, and they were moved by his strength through his health care journey. “They made Tiago feel very special while he was there,” Elena said. 

When the time finally came for Tiago to go for a ride, he bravely climbed into his bobsled as a crowd of adoring supporters cheered. With his family and a professional driver in tow, Tiago shot down the track at speeds faster than a car is allowed to drive through town. When it was over, Tiago jumped into the air and asked the driver if they could go again! 

“Every step of the journey was remarkable, full of amazing surprises,” Elena said. “Tears and frowns were replaced with smiles and excitement. Tiago no longer dwells on what he can’t do. Now he is braver, and his wish was a big part of that.” 

Tiago’s wish brought transformation at every step of the way – from anticipation, to experience, to memory. It has been three years since Tiago’s last radiation treatment, and his follow-up scans all show no evidence of tumor regrowth. Today, Tiago and his family look back on his wish experience as a turning point that helped him replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.