Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- A local charity is celebrating a huge milestone. The Make-a-Wish Foundation has granted wishes to 1,400 children in Central New York.
With balloons and banners ready, The Make-a-Wish foundation welcomed home another grateful family Monday night.
"It was, fighting cancer and taking chemo treatments. I am all done right now and I have a lot of happiness with me and my family,” Angel Arocho told NewsChannel 9.
With each treatment he survived, 12-year old Angel knew he was one step closer to Florida and a bright promise at the end of a dark road for the whole family.
"We appreciate life a lot more now and with this happening all together and knowing he's with us; that he made it through,” Angel’s mom Angelica Ortiz said.
Make-a-Wish volunteers believe 144 children in Central New York are diagnosed with serious life-threatening illnesses each year, making them eligible for a wish. But, a third of families never sign up.
"There are families that think, ‘we can afford to do things for our family, so we shouldn't come to Make-a-Wish,’ and in fact, it’s so not about the money. It’s about empowering kids to hope and dream and look beyond their illness,” said President and CEO of Make-a-Wish CNY Diane Kuppermann.
Diving with dolphins gave Angel the boost he needed to smile again.
"He was so excited and after chemo and radiotherapy, it was so hard for him," Ortiz continued. "When we knew that he was getting a wish granted, he was so excited about it."
The Make-a-Wish Foundation doesn't have any restrictions based on income. Kids with serious life-threatening medical conditions must be between the ages of 2-and-a-half and 18. If you think you are eligible, the number to call is 475 -WISH.