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Elijah Meets the Detroit Lions

  • Elijah's family poses by the limo

  • Elijah and his brother pose with players for a team photo

  • Elijah hangs out with wide receiver Calvin Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford

  • A million dollar view from the Detroit Lions sideline

  • Elijah practicing his throwing skills

  • Elijah talks strategy with Lions player Devin Taylor

  • Elijah getting ready to cheer on his team

“ It couldn't have been a better moment for him ”


- Elijah's father, Dennis

Seven-year-old Elijah’s heroes wear the blue and silver Detroit Lions uniform.

In the midst of a brave battle against leukemia, Elijah, an avid sports fan, had one wish: to meet his favorite Detroit Lions football players.

Thanks to Make-A-Wish® and the Detroit Lions, Elijah’s heartfelt dream became a reality.

On his wish day, Elijah was treated like a celebrity, riding in style in a limo to the Motor City. Elijah and his family arrived at Ford Field excited and ready to enjoy his day in the spotlight with his sports heroes.

Elijah watched the Lions practice from a second row seat in the stadium, and then got an exclusive tour of their workout room. But the excitement was just beginning! Elijah got a personal invitation to come onto the field by Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to be the team’s running back for the day.

As an honorary team member, Elijah got to run plays with the team, including one where Stafford threw Elijah the ball and Elijah scored a touchdown! The team cheered and congratulated Elijah on his outstanding play.

It couldn't have been a better moment for him,” Elijah’s father, Dennis, gushed.

Elijah’s magical day concluded by playing an unforgettable game of catch with Stafford and his favorite player, wide-receiver, Calvin Johnson.

It made me happy that he was so happy,” Victoria, Elijah’s mother, said.

Elijah’s favorite moment of the day was being a part of the team he has always loved to watch on television.

"It's special, you know, to spend time with the kids," Johnson said to the Detroit Free Press. "I know when I was a kid, any chance I got to meet a professional player -- I never got a lot of chances -- but it meant everything. It's something you remember for the rest of your life.

Elijah received a football from the team as a memento to remember his unforgettable wish day. 

It's special, you know, to spend time with the kids. I know when I was a kid, any chance I got to meet a professional player -- I never got a lot of chances -- but it meant everything. It's something you remember for the rest of your life. ”

— Calvin Johnson told the Detroit Free Press

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