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November 8, 2013

Child’s wish comes true

Foundation grants Hall student’s wish to see a Texas Longhorns game and meet Mack Brown

By SALLY SEXTON

Wesley Roach has always been a fan of Mack Brown and the University of Texas Longhorns. In fact, the 13-year-old Hall Middle School student has plans to go there after high school.

“I just think they have a better education group,” he said. “I like everything about them.”

About 10 months ago, Roach and his family received some dire news, when Roach was diagnosed with leukemia Jan. 9.

“We had no idea anything was wrong,” mom Leann Echols said. “He had started playing football and he’d keep coming home with really bad bruises. I bruise easy and I thought maybe that’s what it was.”

During Christmas break, Echols said Roach began showing signs of flu-like symptoms.

Two trips to the hospital and doctor’s office came up with negative testing results for leukemia. It wasn’t until a sample of Roach’s bone marrow was taken and tested that the disease was detected.

Roach is now on his second phase of chemotherapy treatment after going into remission within a month of starting treatment.

“He went into remission within 21 days of being diagnosed,” Echols said. “He’s responded really well to treatment.”

Roach does most of his chemotherapy at home in the form of pills, and goes to a hospital in Dallas once a month to get chemotherapy injected into his spine.

Thanks to the North Texas chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Roach recently had one of his biggest dreams come true.

Roach and his mother, with the help of wish granter and Make-A-Wish volunteer Tim Matheus, took a plane trip, Roach’s first ever, to Austin to meet Brown and the Longhorns.

“I’m very nervous. I’m not sure what I’m going to say when I get to meet [Brown], but I’ve got my Texas shirt already packed,” Roach said last week before the family left.

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