Child's wish sends local family to Rio for Olympic Games
SAN ANTONIO -- 12 year old Maya Sanders and her family are getting the trip of a lifetime.
They're heading to Rio to see the world's best compete in the Olympics.
For nearly three years, Maya has been battling an auto immune disease that attacks her skin and muscles.
"When she was first diagnosed, I remember just praying everyday just please don't take this ability from her, to do the thing that she loves," said Amy Sanders, Maya's mom.
Maya has always had a passion for sports. For her entire family, sports is a way of life. "Everybody does sports, my mom's a coach, my dad's a coach, my sisters do gymnastics,"
Maya has been on countless medications, including Chemo shots. "My doctor, he's a great doctor, and he helped me through everything, and he was like, well, you can have a wish if you want to. Some of the kids with this disease get a wish, and I was like, oh that's cool," Maya went on to say.
Maya knew going to the Olympics was a long shot, but also the trip of a lifetime. "I was just so excited God just put this is my hands."
Her wish was made possible through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. "An opportunity that you know we wouldn't have otherwise, and Make-A-Wish is an amazing organization," said Jeff Sanders, Maya's father.
The Sanders family has been counting down to Rio for more than a year, and Maya says she's technically in remission.
"So, hopefully, I won't have to go on any medicines."
The 12 year old is not only excited about the games, but being able to share her wish with her family.
"Basketball and volleyball, but as for the landmark of the Christ the Redeemer statue, you know that one that stands there, I'm really excited to see that too," Maya went on to say.
Maya's last IV treatment is Friday, and the family heads to Rio Tuesday night.
Maya says the best part of it all is being able to share the wish with her family.