Essex County teen announces Giants draft pick as part of Make-A-Wish program
An Essex County teen joined the NFL commissioner at the 2022 draft as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Sam Prince, of West Caldwell, has spent most of his life going to MetLife Stadium to cheer on the Giants. His wish for World Wish Day was to be a part of the NFL draft.
“If that’s not evidence of the life-changing impact that a wish can provide, I don’t know what is,” says Michael Dominick of Make A Wish New Jersey.
The 19-year-old was able to announce the first-round draft choice for the New York Giants.
“I was so happy to be there. I was like, I’m just going to soak it all in. This is going to be one of the greatest moments of my life,” Prince says.
Prince is a senior at West Essex High School. He suffers from Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome – a condition that he has battled since birth. Prince was born with half a heart and one lung. He got a heart transplant in 2011.
“Eleven years going strong, right here. I feel fantastic,” Prince says. “New heart’s pumping great.”
Prince got the news earlier this week that his wish had been granted. The news came from Eli Manning, along with the Giants’ general manager and head coach.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation has granted around 500,000 wishes in its 42-year history. The majority of the recommendations come from the medical community. The organization says that the doctors tell them the wishes have an impact on sick kids.
“Their pediatric patients - either looking forward to a wish or coming back from a wish, they're facing treatment protocols with more strength and rigor. They see a sense of hope and joy in them that they haven't seen during a lengthy illness and treatment protocol,” says Dominick.
Prince’s medical diagnosis is something that will stay with him throughout his life, and he'll continue to face health challenges even though he had a heart transplant. The teen is currently doing well and thriving. He says his wish coming true isn't just a short-term dream for him, it’s something he hopes to make a career out of one day.
“My dream is to cover the NFL draft and the Super Bowl,” Prince says.
Prince says that he hopes his story encourages people to become organ donors.