Billy, 17, has gone through more health issues over the past three years than most people experience in their lifetime. He was diagnosed with leukemia at the end of his freshman year, and since then, has received numerous chemotherapy treatments, had allergic reactions to the treatment and gone through several other health issues. However, even when faced with these challenges, Billy hasn't let them hold him back from enjoying life and giving back to his community.
When Billy was first introduced to Make-A-Wish, he knew exactly what he wanted – a chance to meet his favorite football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Billy and his family had a VIP experience at Steelers training camp at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, in August 2010, where he met the players, took some photos and got autographs. Then it was off to a game, where Billy and his family, dressed in black and gold from head to toe, got to watch his favorite team in action at Heinz Field.
Because of Billy’s dedication to give back, Make-A-Wish's York Regional Manager Ann Waltman was presented with a check for $7,307. Billy raised the money as part of his senior project for New Oxford High School in Adams County. As part of the project, Billy sold orange T-shirts for leukemia awareness, asked for donations and hosted a skating party, all to benefit Make-A-Wish. Even though he was feeling sick on the day of the check presentation due to recent chemo treatments, he was determined to present the money that day to give back to the organization that made his dream come true the year before.
When asked whether the Make-A-Wish® could share his story, he replied, "That is the whole purpose of why I did this project. I wanted other students to see what I did and follow my lead and help raise money for other wishes." Billy, who was sporting his Steelers shirt at the check presentation, is determined to tell everyone he meets about his wish and how they can also support the Make-A-Wish.