Certainly, the BN Blogathon is about getting crazy trade rumor coverage at the Trade Deadline on July 30 and 31, and your donations have gotten me up to 38 hours of coverage (you can still get two more!). But at it’s core, what we’re really trying to do is raise funds for Make-A-Wish in service of their mission to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
I wanted to share a story with you about a recent wish that brought a young Cubs fan so much joy, and remind you that this is why we do the Blogathon, and why your donations are so deeply appreciated.
From Make-A-Wish Illinois:
Wishes have the power to take once in a life time experience and transform into something that impacts a child for the rest of their lives. Wish Alumnus Marco is a prime example of a wish child persuing a dream that was sparked by his wish.
Marco, now 24-years old, was diagnosed with a life-threatening gastrointestinal condition at birth, and was referred to Make-A-Wish during his senior year through his medical team at Lurie Children’s Hospital in 2006. When Marco, then 17, learned he was going to be granted a wish he was incredibly excited. Marco wished to be a reporter for the Chicago Cubs.
In August of 2008, Marco’s wish came true when he and his family were invited to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs take on their arch rivals, the St Louis Cardinals. On his wish, Marco was able to attend batting practice, meet the team, throw out the opening pitch, and even interview Cubs’ then-manager Lou Piniella, which aired on the Fox Sports broadcast. Marco was also able to visit the broadcasting booth to call the third inning of the game with professional television broadcasters, Eric Karros and Dick Stocton. Marco said, “One of the highlights of the wish was definitely calling the third inning of action live on national TV, and Carlos Zambrano hit a home run while I was in the booth!”
The moment left a lasting impression on Marco.
“Eric Karros and Dick Stocton both signed a baseball for me, but Eric signed the ball, ‘Marco – Don’t take my job, please! – Eric Karros’. It was both hilarious and a feeling of complete euphoria!”
Since the wish, Marco has been busy chasing his dream. He graduated from Columbia College in Chicago with a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism concentrating in Sports Radio, and has earned his Master’s degree in Sports Administration from Northwestern University. Marco’s wish led him to participate in various internships involving broadcasting for organizations such as the Chicago Bears, ESPN Radio 1000, Chicago Sun-Times, and The Daily Herald. Marco has also called play-by-play for the Chicago Slaughter arena football team, Schaumburg Flyers baseball team, and hosted several podcasts on various web sites.
“My wish was the launching point for the rest of my career. I knew I really liked sports and wanted to be involved in them. My wish propelled me into pursuing sports broadcasting as a career,” Marco said.
Today, Marco lives in Fort Meyers, Florida, but plans to move back to the Chicago area soon. Currently Marco does his own podcast called “The Game with Marco Scola” and is creating another called “Our America”. He has just completed his first year of shows and is approaching his 100th episode. He also does commentary pieces on the latest sports news, gives analysis, and does occasional play-by-play work.
“I’m still pursuing my dream being a sports radio host and play-by-play commentator!”