A Special Wish Foundation fulfills dream for Chicago teen at WWE SmackDown

You're probably familiar with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. There's another wish granting organization that doesn't get as much publicity but helps families across the Chicago area with older children that have life-threatening conditions.

Nicholas Reyes, 19, has wrestled with a life-threatening condition for most of his life, but that didn't stop him from heading to WWE SmackDown in Philadelphia this spring, courtesy of a little known Chicago foundation called A Special Wish.

"It was a once in a lifetime experience that I never had before," Nicholas Reyes said.

"They got us a ride to the airport, they booked our airfare, they were very generous in giving us funds to spend while we were out there. Four tickets to go to Wrestlemania and just the experience, Nicholas was in his element," his mother, Stacey Reyes, said.

Xavier Mendez is the head of A Special Wish Chicago.

"Our wishes range from a bunch of different things; a special place, a special location, a special person or a special gift," Mendez said.

"The beautiful thing with us, A Special Wish Chicago, is that we are able to grant wishes for individuals with lifethreatening conditions from birth to the age before they turn 21," Mendez said.

Over the years, we've followed the medical journey of Nicholas' little sister, Elizabeth. She was diagnosed with a genetic kidney disease at the age of 14, when she suddenly became ill and needed a transplant.

"There's no signs until their kidneys fail completely for most people," Reyes said.

Nicholas, who was born with one kidney, was tested for the disease and has it, too.  

The double diagnosis has been tough for the entire family. That's why they are so thankful for A Special Wish Chicago.

"I was simply amazed how much they did for us in such a short amount of time. I was blown away," Stacey Reyes said.

A Special Wish Chicago relies heavily on contributions from Chicago children's charities, as well as donations to grant wishes. 

If you'd like to volunteer, donate, or sign up for a wish, head to ASWChicago.org.