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Osprey teen with cystic fibrosis gets surprise of a lifetime

Sarasota County

OSPREY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa Bay high school student’s wish to meet players on his favorite NFL team came true Friday.

On Friday afternoon, 10th grade Pine View High School student Max LaForge thought he was attending a school forum. However, about ten minutes into the forum, the unexpected happened.

“I had no idea,” LaForge said. “When I saw Make-A-Wish come out I was like oh I think it’s happening.”

At the age of two, LaForge was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. It’s a genetic, chronic disease that severely damages the lungs, digestive system and other internal organs. LaForge has spent countless weeks and months in the hospital battling the disease.

In August, his mother reached out to the Make-A-Wish Foundation after LaForge had a two-month stay in the hospital. That’s when his family learned his wish of meeting the New Orleans Saints players. On Friday, that wish came true.

“I want to meet the Saints because when I was like eight I was in the hospital and my dad had Drew Brews on his fantasy game,” LaForge said as he began to get emotional. “I started liking him and it turned into the whole team, and ever since it’s been the biggest dream of mine to meet them.”

In front of his classmates, teachers, and family, the Make a Wish Foundation surprised LaForge with a trip to meet and watch the New Orleans Saints play.

“It was just great, I was up there thinking about my family and my friends,” LaForge said.

For LaForge’s mom, Cara Covert, this wish come true is more than a trip to New Orleans.

“It’s an arduous journey having a child who has a chronic illness, but for him to be recognized and spoiled for a little while in wonderful,” Covert said.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation Spokeswoman says that’s what it is all about.

“We really hope to not only give that joy to the child but also bring the whole family together.”

Max and his entire family will head to New Orleans Saturday. Over the weekend he will meet the players, attend a private practice and sit in the stadium to watch them play Monday night against the Colts.

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