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Make-A-Wish: Chicopee boy gets party before trip to Disney World

Make-A-Wish: Chicopee boy gets party before trip to Disney World
Make-A-Wish: Chicopee boy gets party before trip to Disney World

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It was a night of joy in West Springfield as the wish of a child suffering from a rare disease finally came true. 7-year-old Xander Padilla of Chicopee will soon travel to the most magical place on earth.

“I know I’m going to have a great time.”

Xander Padilla, father of Chicopee

Xander has cystic fibrosis, which can severely affect the lungs, digestive system and other organs of the body. As a special gift to him and his family, the Chicopee Police Department escorted Xander to Raymour and Flanigan’s home for a Disney Jungle Party to bring him some joy before he heads to Walt Disney World Resort this Sunday – a wish granted by the Make a Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island Foundation.


“One of the things he looks forward to is going to Animal Kingdom once he gets there. That taps into the theme of loving animals and he wants it to be what he wants. So it’s very much about him, his preferences and all those fun things, and that’s how we ended up there,” said Wish Granter, senior manager of corporate and community partnerships at Make-A-Wish, Mariame Sano.

“It’s breathtaking. It’s unbelievable. It’s something you only experience once in a lifetime. It’s something incredible that you could never have imagined,” added Xander’s mother, Autumn Padilla.

The Chicopee Police Department also offered Xander a day as an honorary officer, granting his other wish of becoming a police officer. On August 6, Xander will experience what it means to be a police officer…after being sworn in by the police chief and mayor.

WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate station, began broadcasting in March 1953 to provide Western Massachusetts with local news, network, syndicated and local programming. Watch the 22News Digital Edition weekdays at 4 p.m. on WWLP.com.

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