Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Mitch Altendorfer is 14 years old and a huge football fan. Thanks to Make-a-Wish and United Healthcare, Mitch is about to live out every football fan's dream, a trip to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii.
"I just went and bought a ball to get autographs," Mitch says.
Mitch is gearing up for his big trip. He will be front and center as the NFL's best do battle on the field. Mitch is no stranger to battles.
"Mitch was diagnosed with dermatomyositis when he was in the second grade," his mom, Gail, says.
Dermatomyositis is a rare connective tissue disease that attacks muscle and skin. Mitch is now in remission, but the lingering effects of the condition may never go away.
Mitch's condition limits the kinds of physical activities others his age enjoy. He can play low-impact sports such as golf, but football, the sport he loves the most, is off-limits.
On the advice of his doctor, Mitch was encouraged to make a wish, which he did three years ago. Now, his dream of going to the Pro Bowl is coming true. But football isn't the only thing on Mitch's trip itinerary.
"Going to the beach and going to Pearl Harbor. I love World War II," Mitch says.
Mitch will be leaving for the Pro Bowl tomorrow.