Roach and Echols spent their second day in Austin meeting the Longhorn players during practice. While there, Roach also got a chance to be on the Longhorn Network, UT’s regional sports network that focuses on sports-related programming for the college.
“One of the best parts was they presented me with the game ball,” Roach said following a Texas victory. “They’re going to mail that to me.”
The two also enjoyed the sites of Austin via a duck tour.
“This is something I’m going to remember for a long time,” Roach said. “If they ever asked me to go back, I’d say ‘Oh yeah!’”
The North Texas Make-A-Wish program, which was established in 1982, helps grant wishes for youth throughout the area suffering from life-threatening diseases. Wish children must be ages 2-1/2 through 18 to qualify, and can do so by being referred by themselves, through a medical professional or a guardian.
“Once that referral is made, we send a medical eligibility form to the doctor,” Lauren Grady, development officer for special events, said.
Last fiscal year, the program granted 530 wishes across North Texas.
Grady said that some of the wishes can get expensive, averaging about $7,500 each. The program raises money through donors, grants and events, and is always looking for donors and volunteers.
“Being a wish granter is probably our most popular way of getting involved,” Grady said. “The granter serves as the liaison between the foundation and the family, so they have that connection with the child and also get to see the impact by traveling with them.”
Anyone wishing to contribute to the North Texas chapter of Make-A-Wish can do so by calling 817-336-9474, or going to www.ntx.wish.org.