Wish Child to Attend Super Bowl XLVIII

Colby Smith who is being granted his wish to attend Super Bowl XLVIII by The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada (CNW Group/The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada)

EDMONTON, Jan. 29, 2014 /CNW/ - On Thursday January 30th, Colby Smith, accompanied by his mother, uncle and siblings, will travel from his home in Grand Prairie, Alberta to New Jersey to experience his wish come true of being among the cheering fans at Sunday's Super Bowl XLVIII.

Colby has been an avid football player since the age of 8. In the spring of 2011, while in grade 10, Colby was at football camp when he took a hard hit to the shoulder. "Following the hit he started having pains in his shoulder," his mom Amanda explains. Doctors suspected ligament damage and Colby was referred to a physiotherapist. At that point, Amanda noticed a bulge on his back. The physiotherapist requested x-rays which revealed far more than ligament damage; Colby had a tumour on his scapula.

A biopsy confirmed the worst, the tumour was malignant and Colby started chemotherapy. Colby also underwent surgery for the successful removal of the tumour in January 2012 and continued chemotherapy until the next summer. Unfortunately, just a few short months after his last treatment a follow up scan showed seven nodules (small tumours) in Colby's lungs. Colby once again underwent surgery to have the nodules removed, but Colby still has a nodule remaining that is still growing.

Following his diagnosis and treatment Colby had to give up playing football, and this he says was one of the hardest things he's had to do. Thankfully, he started playing again in grade 11 and helped his team, Grande Prairie's Saint Joseph High School Celtics, win the Peace Bowl in 2012 with a perfect 10-0 record!

Knowing how much football means to him, doctors agreed to let Colby finish this year's football season and take his wish trip before resuming treatment. When asked about his wish to attend the Super Bowl, Colby shares: "My dream has always been to go to the Super Bowl. Now that my chances to make it is a player aren't as high as I'd like them to be, being there as a spectator would be in itself an amazing experience, and a part of my dream come true."

Colby's mom and two younger siblings will be there to share in Colby's game of a lifetime, as will his Uncle Dustin, whom Colby credits with inspiring his love for the game.

The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada

Each year, thousands of Canadian children between the ages of three and 17 are diagnosed with a life threatening illness.  Since 1984, The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada has worked tirelessly to grant exceptional wishes to over 20,000 children and their families.

This year, the Foundation expects to grant over 1,000 new wishes and is proud to have never refused a wish to an eligible child, and with the help of volunteers and generous donors, is able to grant nearly three wishes every day.  Each wish is an individual adventure, carefully structured to meet the needs of a particular child and family. The Foundation is a national charity with chapters in every province and territory. Visit www.childrenswish.ca for more information.


SOURCE The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada

Image with caption: "Colby Smith who is being granted his wish to attend Super Bowl XLVIII by The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada (CNW Group/The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140129_C6117_PHOTO_EN_36030.jpg

For further information:

Attention editors - Colby and his family are available for telephone interviews while in New Jersey and upon their return.  To request an interview, please contact:

Megan Tilley
Wish Coordinator
The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada, Alberta & NWT Chapter
Office: (780) 340-9039 x 2
Mobile: (780) 965 -7051
Email: megan.tilley@childrenswish.ca