By Laura Rodriguez – Friday, Mar 21, 2014
Kyle Fonda made a wish and it came true. The 15-year-old with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma met tennis player Andy Murray and also got to practice with the champion on a Sony Open court. The Make-A-Wish Foundation flew Fonda and his family down from Gloversville, New York, to Miami to make his wish come true.
“It was awesome. To hit with Andy Murray, it was just really cool,” said Kyle Fonda. The teen was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma six months ago. He is now in remission and was able to make the trip to meet his favorite athlete.
“I hope he has a great day and if I contributed a little bit towards that then great,” said Andy Murray. Fonda has only been playing tennis for about two years, but Murray says he put on a pretty good match.
“He was better than my hitting partner today, that’s for sure. My hitting partner was making a lot of mistakes. But [Kyle] was good,” joked Murray. After playing tennis with Murray, posing for pictures, and getting fitted with Fila tennis gear, Kyle received much more than he wished for. The teen also got to watch Rafael Nadal practice and sat in at a press conference with more of the sport’s best players.
“It’s just awesome,” said Fonda. Kyle also got a tour of the Sony Open Tournament facilities. On Friday, he will have the opportunity to flip the coin prior to Murray’s match.
His name won’t show up on the Sony Open score sheets, but Kyle Fonda hit some of the most memorable shots against defending champion Andy Murray on Thursday morning.
Fonda, a 15-year-old from Gloversville, N.Y., has Hodgkin’s lymphoma and spent the day at the tournament through the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Fonda plays tennis for his high school team, and his wish was to attend the Sony Open and meet Murray, his favorite player.
He got to hit with the world No. 6 and attend Murray’s news conference. He also met Federer and Nadal, and attended Serena Williams’ afternoon match. He was outfitted with FILA shoes, shirt, shorts and socks. He will be back Friday night to see Murray begin defense of his Sony title against Matthew Ebden on Stadium Court.
“It was really awesome to meet Andy,” Fonda said. “He took it easy on me. I’ve only been playing tennis for two years, but it’s my favorite sport. When they first told me about this wish being granted, I didn’t believe it. I believed it when we got on the airplane.”
Fonda was accompanied by his father, Tim, mother, Amy, and siblings Josh, 18, and Caitlyn, 11. Asked what most surprised him about meeting the world’s top tennis players, Fonda smiled and said: “They’re just normal people.”
April 14, 2014 – The Leader Herald
I know a lot of charities are worthy of your attention and contributions, but I want to take this opportunity to tell you about my family’s experience with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The foundation generously granted a wish for my son Kyle, who is a cancer patient. Kyle, a tennis enthusiast, wished to watch a professional tennis tournament and meet tennis star Andy Murray.
The foundation and its remarkable wish makers and volunteers got right to work on Kyle’s request. They sent Kyle and his immediate family to the Sony Open tennis tournament in Miami. The foundation spent thousands of dollars to fly us from Albany, N.Y., to Miami, put us up in an upscale hotel and give us VIP treatment at the tennis tournament. Kyle not only was able to meet Andy Murray, but actually play tennis with him on a practice court. Kyle also met several other players such as Roger Federer and Serena Williams, and watched several matches with his family. In addition, Kyle played golf at a beautiful golf course and spent an afternoon on Miami Beach, all courtesy of Make-A-Wish.
It’s difficult to put into words how all of this lifted Kyle’s spirits. I am proud to say, on the day Kyle watched Murray defeat one of his opponents and shook Murray’s hand moments after the victory, I realized Andy Murray and Kyle Fonda have at least two things in common: They both enjoy tennis and they both are winners – Andy on the professional tennis tour and Kyle in his fight against cancer.
Everyone we met from Make-A-Wish and the Sony Open were kind, generous and friendly. Everything they did was designed to create happy moments and cherished memories for Kyle, and they succeeded. Kyle beamed with the widest smiles I’ve ever seen him show.
The people at Make-A-Wish are the type who make our world a better place. We didn’t know much about the foundation before our experience with it. It certainly exceeded our expectations. We encourage you to consider supporting this worthwhile organization. Make-A-Wish granted wishes to nearly 14,000 children with life-threatening illnesses in 2012 alone. Its website address is wish.org.
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