Once at the Emergency Room, Lorenzo underwent an immediate blood transfusion which eventually revealed that he had kidney disease. A biopsy of his kidney followed and showed that Lorenzo had an autoimmune condition that was responsible for the kidney failure.
Lorenzo underwent 4 weeks of treatment with an infusion drip and eventually went on dialysis 3 times a week. Due to the severity of his illness, he had to receive a kidney transplant. Within such a short period of time, Lorenzo’s world was turned upside down.
That’s when Lorenzo’s social worker decided to refer him to Make-a-Wish®.
When Lorenzo reflects on his time in the hospital, he remembers the toll it took on him.
“I wasn’t in a good headspace at the time and nothing in the moment excited me.”
But little did he know, that the moment he walked through the doors of The Wishing Place, his life would transform.
After brainstorming all the possible wishes he could have, he knew he wanted to wish big! Lorenzo knew that his most heartfelt wish was to go to the Superbowl!
“When I was sick, knowing I would have a wish granted was motivation to get better because I had something to look forward to.”
With the excitement of being able to experience a once-in-a-lifetime event, Lorenzo had a renewed sense of hope and strength to get him through.
Fortunately, just before the Super Bowl, Lorenzo’s mom, Darlene, was a perfect match for a kidney transplant! For Lorenzo and his family, the stars were aligning as his wish trip neared.
Once in Minneapolis for Superbowl weekend, they received a VIP tour the day before the big game where they got to tour the stadium and meet the players. Lorenzo even had a signed jersey hand-delivered to him by his favorite player, Arik Armstead of the 49ers.
“From what we experienced on our wish trip, I couldn’t believe the support that the players showed," said Lorenzo's mom, Darlene. "Lorenzo still keeps in touch with him.”
Since his transplant, Lorenzo has recovered well and is transitioning to normal life again.
He now attends college locally and plans to transfer to Sac State. He hopes to study Kinesiology and Nutrition, which stems from his own medical journey as a kid.
When asked what advice he would give to other wish kids that are going through the struggles he once faced, he said, “Keep pushing and fighting. When I was sick, I felt like I was in survival mode. It’s important for every wish kid to know to keep going because there will be better days ahead.”
When reflecting on what this wish experience meant to him, both Lorenzo and his mom had a sincere message for the wish fairies.
“Thank you for giving me the courage to pull through and to get through all of the treatment and difficulties that I experienced. I wasn’t in a good headspace at the time and nothing in the moment excited me. My wish trip motivated me to look toward the future and push through,” Lorenzo said.
“Make-A-Wish is near and dear to our hearts, especially mine," said Darlene. "It blows me away all the people that come together to make a wish possible. The volunteers, donors, the families, kids and all-around support...it’s the most uplifting feeling. It made a huge difference in our lives and we want to keep it going."
"It’s such a positive thing, a feeling of happiness. When you hear Make-A-Wish, it’s the best feeling."