Make-A-Wish Illinois, NFL sending Chicago area families to the Super Bowl

Two Chicago area families are getting a front-row seat to this year’s Super Bowl courtesy of Make-A-Wish Illinois and the NFL.

Make-A-Wish kids Matthew, 11, from Elburn and Simon, 12, from Glen Ellyn have both been diagnosed with critical illnesses. 

"I was like surprised. I didn't know it was going to happen," said Matthew when asked how he felt when he found out about his wish being granted.

Matthew has played football since he was in kindergarten.  

The Chicago Bears fan was diagnosed with a genetic condition that requires constant monitoring.  


He receives treatment at Lurie Children’s Hospital.   

"He has a genetic condition called tuberous sclerosis which essentially causes typically benign tumors to grow all over many of his vital organs, especially the heart.  The brain is heavily involved," said Matthew’s mom, Kristin.  

During their stay in Arizona, Matthew, Simon and their two families will brush shoulders with the NFL’s biggest stars, get a private tour of State Farm Stadium, attend numerous exclusive events, and of course, watch the big game.  

"I don't think we realized quite how big of a deal this was until the last week or so when everything started to fall into place. We're extremely grateful for everything they're doing.  They’re going above and beyond more than we could have ever imagined," said Kristin about the Make-A-Wish Foundation.