Austin, 16, diagnosed with osteosarcoma, wanted just a special companion for his wish -- one that would help him recover from treatments. On Wednesday, February 26, 2014, Edinboro University and Make-A-Wish granted his wish at its special "Jam the Gym" basketball game. Several Make-A-Wish® kids were invited to the basketball game, but at halftime, Austin was invited to center court, where he was presented with his very own gray pit bull puppy named Layla, as well as pet toys and accessories.
"I was not expecting to get her for a while so I'm just kind of shocked right now," Austin told reporters. "I've been wanting a good friend and companion for a while now. Now I can keep her for a healthy, long and good life."
Erie Regional Director Jan Stork believes that Layla will help motivate Austin, who is just re-learning how to walk with a prosthesis, to get out and walk.
"It will be a really wonderful thing for him," said Stork.
Austin's wish reveal is just one of the ways that Edinboro University has helped to give back to Make-A-Wish. The Edinboro Athletic Department raised more than $9,000 for Make-A-Wish last year as a NCAA Division II school. They hope to do even better this year.