Below is a press release from Malden Catholic:
MALDEN, MA — RJ, 10, of Malden, is full of love for his family and for animals. When he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, one of the activities that helped distract him from the discomfort and stress of his illness was watching animal videos. He has especially loved exotic birds and watching trainers work with them. Inspired by this love, he wished for his very own parrot. The anticipation of his wish coming true helped RJ keep a positive attitude as he regained strength following his treatment.
Recently, Malden Catholic’s Make-A-Wish Club presented a check for $12,500 to Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island to provide RJ with his new parrot which he named Zeus. This is the 4th wish that the club has granted in 4 consecutive years. Mayor Christenson from Malden, Malden City Council President Craig Spadafora and Hillary Muntz, Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island Community Partnerships Manager, were onsite for the ceremony along with the MC Make-A-Wish Club members.
When Zeus was old enough to travel, RJ and his family were escorted by limousine to pick up the young bird at the airport and bring him home. RJ is proud to care for Zeus and is especially excited about teaching him to talk. He and his grandma are working together to train the bird. So far, Zeus can say, “Thank you” and RJ has a growing list of other words he plans to teach him. According to RJ, “Zeus is literally the best animal I could ever have.”
Over the last 4 years, Malden Catholic Make-A-Wish Club members and parents have joined together to raise money through a variety of events, candy grams and product sales to provide 4 wishes to children in need. “This served as a reminder that with a community working together, we can provide renewed hope and uplifting joy when it is needed most,” stated John Thornburg, Malden Catholic President.
Abut Malden Catholic
Since 1932, Malden Catholic High School has shaped emerging leaders in our community, claiming a Nobel Laureate, a Senator, two ambassadors and countless community and business heads among its alumni. Annually, graduates attend some of the nation’s most renown universities including Harvard, Georgetown, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Tufts, Georgia Tech, Boston College and Amherst College. Foundational to student success is Malden Catholic’s codivisional model which offers the best of both worlds, single-gender academics during the day and integrated social and extracurricular opportunities after school. Malden Catholic is known in the community for its rigorous academics, SFX Scholars Program and award-winning STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) with electives such as Robotics and Engineering Design. Malden Catholic curriculum is designed to improve individual growth mindset, leadership principles, success outcomes along with integrating the Xaverian values of trust, humility, compassion, simplicity and zeal.
About Make-A-Wish Rhode Island and Massachusetts
Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We seek to bring every eligible child’s wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness. Since 1987, the organization has granted more than 8,500 wishes for children in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
From Left To Right: Eilish O’Brien, Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island Community Partnerships Manager Hillary Muntz, MC Make-A-Wish® Club President Eavan Flood, Mayor Christenson, Malden Catholic President John Thornburg, Brother Thomas Puccio, City Council President Craig Spadafora
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