"I simply just wanted to go around and buy stuff and shop. That's really it," said Raul Marquez of Pixley.
Marquez's wish was granted Friday, which was also his fifteenth birthday. With family members by his side, Raul made his way through Fresno's Fashion Fair Mall, where he picked out a watch, clothes, hats, and a PS3.
The teen lives with Muscular Dystrophy and cardiomyopathy. A LVAD device helps his heart pump blood. His mother said the required monthly trips are costly. "I can only give him so much. We have to go to Stanford once a month and every time we go, we have to end up staying because something is wrong... His heart rate is too high, or it's always something wrong when we go," said Adella Marquez.
Raul Marquez had about $2,400 to spend Friday, courtesy of Make-A-Wish and United Healthcare, which sponsored the wish. Once at the mall, a stranger at the Lids store also pitched in. "The gentleman went over and purchased a hat and gave it to Raul. That's incredible to see… it's a small thing, but they make such a big difference in these kids' lives," said Lori Vidaurri, the Program Services Manager with Make-A-Wish.
Marquez also purchased gifts for his sister, his cousin, and a few friends before a limo ride to P. F. Chang's, where he was able to eat his favorite food. He said the day was so good, it couldn't be rated on a scale of one to ten. "A thousand more than ten. It's great. I like it!" said Marquez.